What happened to all supermassive black holes?

A survey study using the James Webb Space Telescope has revealed that rapidly growing active galactic nuclei, or supermassive black holes, are not as common as previously thought. The discovery indicates that the universe is more stable and provides insight into faint galaxies and the challenges in identifying their nuclei. A study by the James Webb Space Telescope has revealed that there are fewer supermassive black holes than previously thought. Active galactic nuclei (supermassive black holes that are rapidly increasing in size) are rarer than many astronomers once thought, according to a study of parts of the universe by the James Webb Space Telescope at the University of Kansas. It has been found. Findings from JWST’s Mid-Infrared Observatory (MIRI) suggest that our universe may be slightly more stable than previously thought. This study also provides insight into observations of faint galaxies, their properties, and challenges in identifying AGNs. Research Details A new paper detailing his JWST research, conducted under the auspices of the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) program, was recently published on arXiv ahead of formal peer-reviewed publication in the Astrophysical Journal. I was. Led by Alison Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at KU, the study focused on a long-studied zone of the universe called the Extended Gross Strip, located between the constellations Ursa Major and Bootes. . But previous research in this area has relied on less powerful generations of space telescopes. “Our observations were made in June and December last year and we wanted to characterize what galaxies look like during the peak of star formation in space,” Kirkpatrick said. “This is a look back 7 to 10 billion years ago. We used the James Webb Space Telescope’s mid-infrared instrument to study galactic dust that existed 10 billion years ago. This dust hides ongoing star formation and can hide growing supermassive black holes, so I conducted my first surveys to look for supermassive black holes lurking at the center of these galaxies. .”

MIRI pointing to 1 (right panel) is shown alongside Spitzer/IRAC (middle) and MIPS (left) observations in the same region. Apertures indicate the locations of detected sound sources within each image (MIRI regions only). For MIPS images (IRAC), the aperture is 6 inches (2 inches), which is the beam size of the instrument. In the IRAC image, blue corresponds to channel 1 (3.6 µm), green to channel 2 (4.5 µm) and red to channel 3 (5.8 µm). In the MIRI image, the 770W filter is blue, the F1000W is green, and the F1280W is red. Image credit: Kirkpatrick et al., arXiv:2308.09750 Findings and Conclusions Although there is a supermassive black hole at the center of every galaxy, AGNs are the more spectacular protuberances, actively attracting gas and exhibiting luminosities not found in typical black holes. Kirkpatrick and many other astrophysicists expected that his JWST survey, at higher resolution, would discover far more AGNs than previous surveys conducted with the Spitzer Space Telescope. However, despite MIRI’s improved performance and sensitivity, new investigations found few additional his AGNs. “The results were completely different from what I expected, which led to the first big surprise,” Kirkpatrick said. “The key finding was the lack of rapidly growing supermassive black holes. This finding prompted questions about the whereabouts of these objects. As it turns out, these black holes are likely growing at a slower pace than previously believed, which is intriguing, considering the galaxies I examined resemble our Milky Way from the past. Earlier observations using Spitzer only allowed us to study the brightest and most massive galaxies with rapidly growing supermassive black holes, making them easy to detect.” Kirkpatrick said an important mystery in astronomy lies in understanding how typical supermassive black holes, such as those found in galaxies like the Milky Way, grow and influence their host galaxy. “The study’s findings suggest that these black holes are not growing rapidly, absorbing limited material, and perhaps not significantly impacting their host galaxies,” she said. “This discovery opens up a whole new perspective on black-hole growth since our current understanding is largely based on the most massive black holes in the biggest galaxies, which have significant effects on their hosts, but the smaller black holes in these galaxies likely do not.”

Engineers meticulously embed the James Webb Space Telescope’s mid-infrared instruments into the ISIM (Integrated Science Instrument Module) in a clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 29, 2013. worked with the utmost care. The successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the Webb Space Telescope will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. It will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed, and discover unknown planets around distant stars. Another surprising finding is the absence of dust in these galaxies, said KU astronomers. “Using the JWST, we are able to identify much smaller galaxies than ever before, including galaxies the size of the Milky Way or smaller. This is due to the red-polarized It wasn’t possible before with translocation (space distances),” Kirkpatrick said. “Usually, the most massive galaxies have a lot of dust because they form stars faster,” he said. Instead, it exceeded my expectations and yielded new and interesting discoveries.” According to Kirkpatrick, the study is changing our understanding of how galaxies, in particular, grow. Regarding the Milky Way. “Our black hole appears to be fairly calm and not very active,” she said.

“An important question about the Milky Way galaxy is whether it was once active, or whether it went through an AGN phase. If, like our own galaxy, most galaxies do not have a detectable AGN, then we have , which could mean that our black holes have never been so active in the past.Ultimately, this knowledge will help us to constrain and measure the mass of black holes and answer the open question. It helps shed light on the origins of the growth of black holes.,

Source: The Astrophysical Journal.arXiv:2308.09750