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  More hot air about supermassive black holesFeb 23, 2015 11:17 PM PST | url
Added 1 new A* page:The BBC reported on that NASA/ESA announcement last week of how a new study was able to measure the relativistic winds generated an active supermassive black hole (aka "quasar") at the center of galaxy PDS 456. The BBC article points out a couple interesting measurements of the winds: "about ten times the mass of the Sun is blown out every year, along with a trillion times more energy than our star emits."
Right after that, the article mentions A* by name, and goes into the relationship between a supermassive black hole and the galaxy it inhabits:

Those quantities, and the shape of the wind, suggest that PDS 456 has quite some impact on the surrounding galaxy - and this is likely to be the case for other supermassive black holes, including "Sagittarius A*" at the heart of our very own Milky Way.
"Now we know that quasar winds significantly contribute to mass loss in a galaxy, driving out its supply of gas, which is fuel for star formation," said Dr Emanuele Nardini from Keel University in the UK, the study's lead author.
"This study provides a unique view of the possible mechanism that links the evolution of the central black holes to that of their host galaxies, over cosmic time."

Now that I re-read parts of it, I see that the end of the NASA article points out that the galaxy, 2 billion light years away, gives us a window into the further past of our galaxy's history, to an early, formative period in its history they call the "Age of Quasars": "This black hole gives astronomers a unique look into a distant era of our universe, around 10 billion years ago, when supermassive black holes and their raging winds were more common and possibly shaped galaxies as we see them today." (In a National Geographic article from last week, PDS 456 is called a "late bloomer"; it is useful for study because it is much closer to us than most quasars, which *are* more like 10 billion light years away from us: "Plenty of nearby galaxies, in other words, went through a quasar phase in their youth but, thanks to the process described in the new observations, have settled down into a much quieter middle age.")
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