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Herschel
Space
Observatory

An
ESA
Mission
with
Participation
from
NASA

 

NASA
Herschel
Science
Center's
Portal
to
the
Cool
Universe

Galactic Outflow

Nhsc2015-001b

Astronomers studying the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy IRAS F11119+3257 have found proof that the winds blowing from the black hole are sweeping away the host galaxys reservoir of raw star-building material.

This finding was made using ESAs Herschel space observatory, together with the Suzaku X-ray astronomy satellite. Combining these data, the astronomers detected the winds being driven by the central black hole in X-rays, and their global effect, pushing the galactic gas away, at infrared wavelengths.

This artists impression shows the outflow of molecular gas (red) in a galaxy hosting a supermassive black hole at its core.