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Topic: Herschel S pace Observatory

Herschel Space Observatory observes that overfed Black Holes shut down Galactic Star Making

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The Herschel Space Observatory has shown galaxies with the most powerful, active black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. The results are the first to demonstrate black holes suppressed galactic star formation when the universe was less than half its current age.

Herschel is a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA contributions.

This artistically modified image of the local galaxy Arp 220, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, helps illustrate the Herschel results. The bright core of the galaxy, paired with an overlaid artist's impression of jets emanating from it, indicate that the central black hole's activity is intensifying. As the active black hole continues to rev up, the rate of star formation will, in turn, be tamped down in the galaxy. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artistically modified image of the local galaxy Arp 220, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, helps illustrate the Herschel results. The bright core of the galaxy, paired with an overlaid artist's impression of jets emanating from it, indicate that the central black hole's activity is intensifying. As the active black hole continues to rev up, the rate of star formation will, in turn, be tamped down in the galaxy. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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