Research by Anelise Audibert, a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has revealed a process that explains the strange formation of the central region of the Cup Galaxy, a massive quasar 1.3 billion light-years away.
This object is characterized by the presence of expanding gas bubbles produced by winds emanating from its central core Giant black hole. The test confirms that it is compressed flow, visible only in radio waves, changes the shape of the surrounding gas and increases its temperature, blowing bubbles that expand to the sides. These results, based on observations ALMA Telescope and hydrodynamic simulations published March 21, 2023 in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters.
When matter falls into a supermassive black hole in the centers galaxiesIt releases huge amounts of energy active galactic nucleus (AGN). A portion of the AGN releases some of this energy as streams that can be detected on radio waves traveling at a nearby speed. The speed of light. As the jet crosses the galaxy, it collides with surrounding clouds and gases, and in some cases can push that matter out in the form of wind. However, the preferential conditions that drive these winds to blow gas out of the galaxy are still not well understood.
The effect of the jets on the content of galaxies such as stars, dust and gas plays an important role in how galaxies evolve in the universe. The most powerful radio jets, found in the loudest galaxies, are responsible for drastically changing the fortunes of galaxies as they heat the gas, preventing new stars from forming and galaxies growing. Computer simulations of relativistic jets flowing in disk galaxies predict that the jets change the shape of the surrounding gas, exploding bubbles as they penetrate deeper into the galaxy. A key component of the simulation that makes jets effective in driving winds is the angle between the gas disk and the direction of jet propagation. Surprisingly, weaker jets, such as those found in “radio-quiet” galaxies, are capable of doing more damage to the surrounding environment than very powerful jets.
An international team of scientists has discovered the perfect case for studying the interaction of a radio jet with cold gas around a massive outflow quasar: teacup galaxy. The Grail is a radio silent quasar located 1.3 billion years ago light years from us, and its nickname comes from the expanding bubbles seen in optical and radio images, one of which is shaped like a cup handle. In addition, in the central region (about 3,300 light-years wide) there is a small radio jet that is slightly inclined relative to the galactic disk.
Influencing star formation
Using observations recorded by ALMA in the Chilean desert, the team was able to characterize the cold, dense gas in the central part of the cup with an unprecedented level of detail. In particular, they detected the emission of carbon monoxide molecules, which can only exist under certain conditions of density and temperature. Based on these observations, the team found that the compact jet, despite its low power, not only noticeably disturbs and heats the gas distribution, but also accelerates it in an unusual way.
The team expected to detect extreme conditions in affected regions along the stream, but when they analyzed the observations, they found that the colder gas is more turbulent and warmer in directions perpendicular to the spread of the stream. This is caused by shocks caused by a jet-driven bubble that heats up and explodes the gas as it expands sidewaysA. explains. Audibert. Supported by computer simulations, we believe that the orientation between the cold gas disk and the jet is a key factor in successfully driving these crosswinds. he adds.
Previously, low-energy jets were thought to have little effect on a galaxy, but work like ours shows that even in radio-quiet galaxies, jets can redistribute and disrupt surrounding gas, and this will have an effect on the ability of a galaxy to function. to form new stars. said Cristina Ramos-Almeida, researcher at IAC and co-author of the study.
The next step is to observe a larger sample of silent quasars using them megathe tool installed on Gran Telescope Canary Islands. The observations will help us understand the impact of the jets on more rarefied, hotter gases, and measure changes in star formation caused by the winds. This is one of the goals of the project QSOFEED It was developed by an international team of scientists with the goal of discovering how winds from supermassive black holes affect the galaxies in which they reside.
Pictured: The compact radio jet at the center of the Teacup galaxy blows sideways turbulent winds through the cold, dense gas, as predicted by simulations. Source: HST / ALMA / VLA / M. Meenakshi / D. Mukherjee / A. Audibert
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