This Black Hole is CREATING, not eating a star

NASA has found a black hole in a nearby dwarf galaxy creating a star instead of eating it up. Know what is happening.

| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 23:32 IST
Henize 2-10
The smaller black hole in this dwarf galaxy with a slower speed of its outflow is creating a new star. (NASA)
Henize 2-10
The smaller black hole in this dwarf galaxy with a slower speed of its outflow is creating a new star. (NASA)

What comes to the mind when you describe a Black Hole? Other than being literally a black hole that does not even spare light, it also eats up any planet and even stars approaching it. But have you heard of a Black Hole giving birth to a new star? Based on the latest observation from NASA, the dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10 has a black hole at its heart that is creating a new star instead of spattering it across the cosmos.

Discovered by NASA's Hubble Telescope, this dwarf galaxy sitting 30 million light years away from us is helping in creating a new star. The outflow from the black hole, that measures 230 light years long, is moving away from it slowly at a mere 1 million miles per hour. This slow speed of the outflow is pushing more gaseous material into the cluster, thereby helping to create a new star.

Black Hole creating a new star

This aspect of a black hole has been previously unseen. With larger galaxies featuring supermassive black holes at the center, like our Milky Way Galaxy, the material that falls into the black hole is spread away from it via the strong magnetic fields, which results in the plasma jets moving away from the black hole at speeds close to that of light. The smaller black hole in this dwarf galaxy, however, has a slower speed of its outflow, thereby resulting in compressing the gas to help with a new star formation.

"At only 30 million light-years away, Henize 2-10 is close enough that Hubble was able to capture both images and spectroscopic evidence of a black hole outflow very clearly. The additional surprise was that, rather than suppressing star formation, the outflow was triggering the birth of new stars," said Zachary Schutte, a Reines' graduate student and the lead author of the new study.

"From the beginning I knew something unusual and special was happening in Henize 2-10, and now Hubble has provided a very clear picture of the connection between the black hole and a neighbouring star forming region located 230 light-years from the black hole," said Amy Reines, who is the principal investigator on the new Hubble observations. Reines was also responsible for finding the black hole in this dwarf galaxy in 2011.

"Hubble's amazing resolution clearly shows a corkscrew-like pattern in the velocities of the gas, which we can fit to the model of a precessing, or wobbling, outflow from a black hole. A supernova remnant would not have that pattern, and so it is effectively our smoking-gun proof that this is a black hole," Reines said.

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First Published Date: 20 Jan, 11:55 IST