How the activity of a supermassive black hole shapes its galaxy

picture of black hole by Alain .This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5

New insights into how central supermassive black holes influence the evolution of their host galaxy are published in The Astronomical Journal.
How the activity of a supermassive black hole shapes its galaxy

Galaxies end up going through a phase in which they lose most of their gas, causing a change in their properties throughout their evolution. Current models of galaxy evolution suggest that this should happen over time in all galaxies, including our Milky Way. NYU Abu Dhabi Center for Astro, Particle and Planetary Physics (NYUAD) scientist Aisha Al Yazeedi and her team are investigating this process.

“The evolution of galaxies is directly related to the activity of their central supermassive black hole (ANSM) – he explains -. However, the connection between the activity of the ANSM and the expulsion of gas from the entire galaxy is little known. Observational studies, including our research, are essential to clarify how the central ANSM can influence the evolution of its entire host galaxy and to test key theoretical concepts in the field of astrophysics, he adds.

His findings describe the gas ejection mechanisms, the outflow properties, and how they relate to the activity of the supermassive black hole at the center of the host galaxy.

To do this, the article presents a detailed radio and optical study of the galaxy MaNGA 1-166919, which appears to have an active galactic nucleus (AGN). The radio morphology shows two lobes (jets) emanating from the center of the galaxy, a clear sign of AGN activity that could be driving the optical outflow.