Researchers created a new simulation video that could hopefully reveal the origins of a supermassive black hole. The video shows the physical properties that could affect the gas flow from galaxies that feed those massive mouths, depicting an accurate picture of how a black hole is formed.
There is no definite way of how a black hole forms in the universe, but the new high-powered simulation from the researchers of Northwestern University could shed light on how the supermassive black holes came to be. They described the simulation in the study titled "Cosmological Simulations of Quasar Fueling to Subparsec Scales Using Lagrangian Hyper-refinement," published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Origins of Supermassive Black Holes Difficult to Explain
Supermassive black holes, like the one at the center of the Milky Way galaxy and the one captured in 2019 by the Event Horizon Telescope, are difficult to explain because their origins involved massive amounts of matter crammed into a tiny space.
"Until now, theorists developed explanations relying on patching together different ideas for how matter in galaxies gets crammed into the innermost one millionth of a galaxy's size," said study lead author Claude-André Faucher-Giguère in Northwestern Now, the university's news release.
Scientists have estimated that supermassive black holes could be millions or billions more massive than the Sun and that it requires gas flow from galaxies in the universe to stay awake. However, the details about how gas flows from the universe feed these supermassive black holes remain a mystery for many years.
Space.com reported that the new simulation model by Faucher-Giguère and his team from Northwestern University shows the physical processes that affect gas flow. It demonstrated how the expansion of the universe, gravity, stellar wind from massive stars, supernovas, and large galactic environments influence gas flow to create a realistic view of the formation of a black hole.
Faucher-Giguère said that their simulation models galaxy structures that use gravitational forces to put brakes on the gas, making it fall into black holes instead of orbiting galaxy centers forever.
New Simulation 1,000 Times Better Than Previous One
According to SciTech Daily, researchers used the previous work from the Feedback in Realistic Environments FIRE project to create the new simulation. It created a better technology with 1,000 ties better resolution than previous technologies, showing gas flows across galaxies.
Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, the first author of the study, said that previous models can only tell the details of what is happening close to the black hole and not about the rest of the galaxy, which is important information to connect all the processes involved in black hole formation.
With the new simulation, scientists can finally create a model to show how galaxies get crammed into the innermost one millionth of a galaxy's size. For instance, it can shed light on the processes involved in forming the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy and the one in the Messier 87 galaxy.
The team aims to study statistical populations of galaxies and the black holes in them to understand better how they can form and grow in various conditions present in a galaxy.
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