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Galaxy interactions accelerate the growth of supermassive black holes

 

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Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe
2011/11/21

Most galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers, millions or even billions times as heavy as our Sun. But how they grew to this tremendous weight is still a mystery.

Dr. John Silverman (IPMU) and the international COSMOS team have demonstrated, using the Chandra X-ray observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, that interactions between galaxies are effective at triggering the growth of such supermassive black holes.

Press release

Paper

J. Silverman, P. Kampczyk and 54 additional coauthors.,
“The impact of galaxy interactions on Active Galactic Nucleus activity in zCOSMOS”
The Astrophysical Journal arXiv:1109.1292 preprint
Article link

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Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe
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