How does a black hole eat? With its spiral arms
Spiral arms slow down gas moving through the universe, funnelling it into the black hole
Black holes are known for being voracious eaters, devouring anything in their path. Now, a new supercomputer simulation is helping researchers understand how a galaxy's spiral arms play an integral role in that feeding process.
Developed in part by University of Connecticut researcher Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, the simulation models the gas flow of a galaxy with 1,000 times better resolution than previously possible.
The research was published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal.
While other simulations have modelled black hole growth, this is the first single computer simulation powerful enough to account for the numerous forces that are a part of the evolution of supermassive black holes, such as the movement of gases around stellar objects, and the influence of supernovae.
Daniel Anglés-Alcázar is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Connecticut. Listen to his interview with Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald at the link above.
Produced by Amanda Buckiewicz