The 'Perfect Storm' for Halting Star Birth Around a Black Hole

December 18, 2014 8:45 AM

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Astronomers may have found the "perfect storm" for ending star formation. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), they've discovered that turbulence around a modest central black hole is halting star formation in a region that would otherwise be the perfect star factory.

The turbulence, in this case, is caused by jets from the galaxy's central black hole slamming into an incredibly dense envelope of gas. This dense region, which is possibly the result of a recent merger with another smaller galaxy, blocks nearly 98 percent of material propelled by the jets from esca...

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