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Massive black holes in galactic centres

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Super-massive black holes, with masses of million to billion of times that of the Sun, are believed to reside at the centre of all galaxies. The central black hole plays a major role in the evolution of its host galaxy through a mechanism known as feedback. According to the standard picture, feedback from the active galactic nucleus can regulate the growth of the black hole and limit the formation of stars in the galaxy. We propose a different scenario, and discuss the possibility of active galactic nucleus feedback driving star formation in the host galaxy. This may provide an explanation for the observed evolution of massive galaxies, and their particular growth pattern, discovered in recent years.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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