However, it does not mean that powerful gravitational forces of the black holes disrupt surrounding material in their vicinity.
On the contrary, a black hole seems to be helping stars to form.
An international team of astronomers has studied the central regions of the nearby galaxy Centaurus A, named NGC 5128, a bright galaxy
13 million light years away in the direction of the southern constellation of Centaurus.
Click on image to enlarge
The giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A - Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.
Hubble's panchromatic vision, stretching from ultraviolet through near-infrared wavelengths, reveals the vibrant glow of young, blue star
clusters and a glimpse into regions normally obscured by the dust. At a distance of just over 11 million light-years, Centaurus A contains
the closest active galactic nucleus to Earth. The center is home for a supermassive black hole that ejects jets of high-speed gas into space,
but neither the supermassive black hole or the jets are visible in this image. Credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
According to their observations, black holes at the centre of galaxies 'switch on' from time to time, driving material around them into outflows stretching
for millions of light years.
The regions closest to the outflow contain young stars, the ages of which are similar to the time since the outflow 'switched on'.
Apparently, the outflows significantly affect star formation in the galaxies that host them.
The team, led by Dr Stanislav Shabala of the University of Tasmania, Dr Mark Crockett of the University of Oxford, and Dr Sugata Kaviraj of Imperial College, London,
used the Hubble
Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a very accurate instrument with extraordinary sensitivity, accuracy and resolution over wide fields-of-view.
Click on image to enlarge
Chandra image of the nearby galaxy Centaurus A
Opposing jets of high-energy particles can be seen extending to the outer reaches of the galaxy, and numerous smaller black holes in binary
star systems are also visible.
A prominent X-ray jet extending for 13,000 light years points to the upper left in the image, with a shorter "counterjet" aimed in the opposite
direction. Astronomers think that such jets are important vehicles for transporting energy from the black hole to the much larger dimensions of a
galaxy, and affecting the rate at which stars form there. Credits: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al
With WFC3, they were able to study the central regions of Centaurus A, named NGC 5128, a bright galaxy 13 million light years away
in the direction of the southern constellation of Centaurus. The team was able to perfectly map out the star formation history of the filament.
In visible light, a prominent belt of dust can be seen running across the galaxy and when observed at X-ray and radio wavelengths
it has enormous jets extending to a distance up to a million light years from a central black hole.
"This enhancement of star formation by outflows would have been even more important in a younger universe, where dense clumps of gas were much more common,"
Dr Stanislav Shabala commented.
"Our study highlights the need to consider the role of 'positive' feedback from outflows in our current paradigm of galaxy formation.
It adds an exciting new piece to a great puzzle – that of understanding how galaxies came to be the way they are today," Dr Shabala added.
The new work appears in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
A preprint can be seen at http://arxiv.org/abs/1201.3369
Super-Earth Discovered Orbiting Several Suns
Scientists at the University of Goettingen and the Carnegie Institution for Science in the U.S. Washington have discovered a potentially habitable planet,
located 22 light years away from Earth.
The super-Earth, named GJ 667Cc has the mass four and a half times that of our Earth and an orbit of 28.15 days.
The planet GJ 667Cc orbits a dwarf star of the class M, 22 light years away which corresponds to approximately 209 trillion kilometers.
Astrophysicist Resolves Paradox With Radio Millisecond Pulsars
Celestial objects known as pulsars are still full of secrets. It is takes time and many efforts to learn all their secrets. Previous studies reached
the paradoxical conclusion that some millisecond pulsars are even older than the universe itself. It was time to resolve this paradox.
Cosmic Vibrations From Neutron Stars
In the collision of neutron stars, the extremely compact remnants of evolved and collapsed stars, two light stars merge to one massive star.
The newly-born heavyweight vibrates, sending out characteristic waves in space-time. Model calculations at the Max Planck Institute for
Astrophysics now show how such signals can be used to determine the size of neutron stars and how we can learn more about the interior of these exotic objects.
Unusual Sounds From Space Reported Worldwide - What Are They?
For almost a year now people from different countries have reported hearing strange sound from the sky. Now scientists propose that what people are
hearing is only a small fraction of the actual power of these sounds!
What are these sounds? What is causing them? Are they in anyway related to our Sun and the biggest solar flares, do they come from Earth's inner core
or can they be attributed to an unknown an astronomical phenomenon? Are they in anyway dangerous to our planet?
Unknown Force "Intelligently" Put Together Miranda Moon - with video
What could melt this moon in this extremely cold region of the solar system?
Voyager 2 passed Miranda’s strange world at a distance of only 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) and
sent back to Earth very detailed images of its "tortured" surface.
Nothing like them has been seen anywhere else in the solar system! Did a type III civilization conduct some "experiments" on Miranda?