National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Massive Filaments Fuel the Growth of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes

| Science

Map of gas filaments. The identified gas filaments are shown in blue color. The background map is an optical image taken with the Subaru Telescope. It is found that there are extensive gaseous structures and cosmic web filaments. (Credit: RIKEN) Original Size (1.4MB)

An international group of scientists led by the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research has used observations from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and Suprime-Cam at the Subaru Telescope to make detailed observations of the filaments of gas connecting galaxies in a large proto-cluster in the early Universe. Based on direct observations they found that, in accordance with predictions, the filaments are extensive, extending over more than 3 million light years and are providing the fuel for intense formation of stars and the growth of super massive black holes within the proto-cluster.

These results were published online on October 3, 2019 in Science.

Related Links