The birth of a quasar in a galaxy would mean doom for the star formation cycle and all those who inhabit the said galaxy. A fact that has long been believed by scientists. Que Allison Kirkpatrick. Assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. She has stated that new analysis shows that the before-mentioned belief may not be true.
Kirkpatrick has discovered instanced where quasars present in some galaxies do not, in fact, hinder the formation of new stars. One might find a supermassive black hole in most galaxies if one were to look. A quasar being something quite different. “Quasi-stellar radio sources,” as they are called, hold the formation of matter in the shape of an accretion disk, that is moving in a circular fashion towards them.
Making such galaxies that host them very hot and bright. These celestial bodies have the tendency to absorb the colder gas found in the galaxy that would otherwise have the ability to form a star. Kirkpatrick states that the presence of a quasar does indeed signal that a galaxy has finished its cycle of producing new stars. This does not mean that the process is truly ended.
A new study shed more light on cold quasars
The astronomer had found a number of so-called “cold quasars” in her study of distant galaxies, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Her team used the XMM Newton telescope to ma unusual quasar activity in the sector named Stripe 82. They used X rays to scan said area after which having to employ the Herschel Space Telescope for its infrared capabilities.
Both modes of vision gave scientists the possibility to detect star-forming materials that were still available in galaxies holding an active quasar. Kirkpatrick states that quasars cannot exist among star-generating regions forever due to their slow absorption of the gas over time. About 10 million years mark the cycle between the full development of quasars and the demise of star-forming regions.
With around 10 % of galaxies having presented such conditions to warrant the observation. Further research will be conducted by Kirkpatrick on the topic, with the goal of finding out if and how different galaxy types go through this process.