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Why are there Black Holes in the Middle of Galaxies?


Question: Why are Black Holes in the Middle of Galaxies?

Answer: The black holes you’re thinking of are known as supermassive black holes. Stellar mass black holes are created when a star at least 5 times larger than the Suns out of fuel and collapses in on itself forming a black hole. The supermassive black holes, on the other hand, can contain hundreds of millions of times the mass of a star like our Sun.

Astronomers are now fairly certain that these supermassive black holes are at the heart of almost every galaxy in the Universe. Furthermore, the mass of these black holes is somehow tied to the mass of the rest of the galaxy. They grown in tandem with each other.

When large quantities of material falls into the black hole, it chokes up, unable to get consumed all at once. This “accretion disk” begins to heat up and blaze brightly in many different wavelengths, including X-rays. When supermassive black holes are actively feeding, astronomers call these quasars.

So how do these black holes get there in the first place? Astronomers aren’t sure, but it could be that the dark matter halo that surrounds every galaxy serves to focus and concentrate material as the galaxy was first forming. Some of this material became the supermassive black hole, while the rest became the stars of the galaxy. It’s also possible that the black hole formed first, and collected the rest of the galaxy around it.

Astronomers just don’t know.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jerry, Washington OK April 22, 2008, 8:36 AM

    The whole concept of space has changed so much. From massive black holes, to dark matter we can’t see and the new idea that there may have been an earlier opposite universe almost melts my 65 year-old mind.

    I’m very impressed…..

  • gilberto camblor April 22, 2008, 9:50 AM

    I believe that every supermassiveblack hole has the suction(negative energy) equivalent to the million solar masses calculated by Kepler´s law based on the speed of the closest stars to such a hole. These holes and their galaxies go together “pari-pasu” from the very beginning.The ejection bypolar jets are probably the result of matter antimatter encounters at the center of the hole. When the annihilation temperature is reached, gamma ray production is the result. On the other hand when the temp at the matter antimatter encounter is lower than that m-a annihilation line should be the result.

  • Jordan Lapp May 8, 2008, 8:20 PM

    Perhaps when a black hole get ejected from a galaxy into the intergalactic medium, it slowly coalesces the clouds of gas that lie in the filaments until a new galaxy is formed?

  • Rod Kawecki May 11, 2008, 9:22 PM

    The question about supermassive black holes is avery important one. The fact that galaxiers all have a blackhole at the centre is evidence that these what we call blackholes are the existing feeding spheres of the entity they recede. What I mean is that there exist two types of supermassive blackholes. One is a closed blackhole ort inactive blackhole which physicsts believe means imnactive therefore not assuming allusive floating energies caught within its domain or galaxy. A closed blackhole means that it has reached a period or density by which it lays doment. An active blackhole or otherwise active or open blackhole is a blackhole that is still is process. Meaning that its physical process what ever that is – is in action.
    It is believed in Quanta Physics Theory a new 21th century study by Rodney Kawecki, that these open and closed blackholes are the birth process of a everythibng that exist in the universe that is a live now. A blackhole is the aftermath of a birth event of the entity it recedes in. Therefore an open blackhole means that the galaxy is young and still active and a closed blackhole means that it has reached that point and time in its activity that it becomes inactive.
    Like the Universe everything that exist in it was created through a process called an epodus event. A time like a blackhole which acts as an eruption and not big bang explosion that it is still active in its process and not dead or totally diminished like an explosion. This idea came when we review the facts about are universe that questions have not been answered about. If we look at the universe and its activity we discover that its expanding. A total explosional big bnag event would diminish everything about it. In some cases this is true. But in a lot of other cases like a forming of galaxy they are still in a process.
    The universe expanding shows that it is some sort of activity that began with its birth. The big bang event stretching dark matter like a trampoline is still carrying the material body and the impression the matter of the universe that it impressed and warped is still in action. Its expanding and at the speed of light.

  • IKE:) the Alien lifeform July 2, 2008, 10:49 AM

    Thank you Rod:)
    you are right on target. just like in undisturbed nature on our planet (hard to find anymore…) the universe is (must ultimately be) in balance, and always balances itself out… if not, no universe.
    Fortunately you, the carbon copies;), are unable to disturb this balance.
    Matter, dark matter, other matter (whatever it may be named, time, light and space… these are the factors we deal with.
    After eons of study I conclude, that the question of some mysterious force has been already answered, whatever you:) may name it… However, I still do not believe in the theory of a Big Bang, as this event is localized, and of course we all ask if so, what was there before.
    SMILE:)

  • gerald July 16, 2008, 10:47 AM

    I tnink black holes are not really holes but bubbles composed of nothing but electrons thats why they radiate away after time with matter stealing minute amounts of the electrons after a time.reducing the mass of the black hole.you can never enter a black hole.you might get captured by one but it would have to want to throw you off because of its rotation but but because of its gravity you would stretched out at the top and bottom of its sphere like cotton candy in a cotton candy machine.I also nthink stars are ignited by gas clouds being exposed to the cosmic microwave energy.which I seen happen when you put metal objects in microwave ovens the oven creats balls plasma do to arcing remember the cosmic gas clouds contain iron from other defunct stars.there is not really dark energy throw a rock in to a pool of water you will see the waves accellerate as they get farther out.when one wave moves by it creates a low pressure area behind it the next wave wants to fill .remeber the front of the wave is high pressure the rear of the wave going by is low pressure.I would not call this dark energy but I would call it pressure waves.space is not really dark we can only see at one frequency.I came up with theory of planets behaving like electric motors wayback in 1987.I wrote a paper on it electronics class at southeast college.and far as trying to go to another universe you don’t have to get in a spaceship and go anywhere.it ‘right here already if possible you would would simply accelerate or decelerate your frequency that is the frequncey of matter your body is composed of.far as beating the speed of light it simple.to go to another star system that is.I.m keeping that one to mylself.far as time travel pieace of cake.

  • the stranger September 6, 2008, 1:34 AM

    I always figured the “inactive” black holes had spawned other universes. The singularity reaches a point of critical mass and bang. So, now we know what’s lies outside the universe. Another universe.

    Add that in with all these dimensions, which I figure are also infinite, and you get us right back where we started.

    If you still operate in that thought paradigm about these matters. I just specialize in b.s.

    Good article, though. Just found the site…looks cool.

    ;)

    NP: Funky Drummer by James Brown

  • Nicole Philpor February 24, 2009, 9:42 PM

    I am really scared now about reading that in 1012 that the earth could come to a end. I have a daughter at home who is eleven and she does not want abything to happen, if this was to happen how could we prepare for this event??

  • James Wiseman April 1, 2009, 8:27 AM

    after reading all these post and the articles i came to my own conclusion… lets see now…the big bang…well right now we are able to point out thousands if not millions of galaxies around our universe…each with a blackhole in the centre…now what if prior to the big bang we had a universe much like ours except instead of expanding it was contracting….all the black holes converge from all the galaxies and smash together forming a massive black hole and after millions of eons it swallowed up everything in its universe and was left with nothing but the one massive black hole…it would eventually got so dense and so powerful that instead of sucking up everything…what if it became so powerful it exploded into what we now know as the big bang which as we know spewd up everything we now have in our universe

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