Supermassive black holes (SMBH) likely exist at the center of every massive galaxy in our universe. How these million to billion solar mass beasts form is not well understood. The authors in today’s astrobite examine the possibility of the direct collapse of massive gas clouds to form SMBH seeds in a computer simulation of a galaxy merger.
When galaxies merge, the super-massive black holes at their center can merge as well. General relativity predicts that the newly merged black hole can, in forming, be kicked with a large velocity out of the galactic center!
Dissipative effects due to gas friction during galaxy mergers may be a crucial ingredient in the process of elliptical galaxy formation.
The longstanding role of galaxy mergers as drivers of star-formation is brought into question
A unique population of galaxies may hold the keys to discovering how star formation stops happening in older galaxies.