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Evidence of Black Holes Forming Galaxies is Mounting!

Image from ESA, the European Space Agency.

By Inés Urdaneta / Physicist and Research Scientist at Resonance Science Foundation

In just one week, two very important studies have shed light on the now irrevocable fact that black holes in the center of galaxies are playing a predominant role in the galaxy formation, event that would explain why astronomers and astrophysicists have found a black hole in the center of galaxies.

In a former RSF article entitled “Supermassive Black Holes Birthing Stars at Furious Rate’ we had addressed the case in which astronomers have observed supermassive black holes creating star-forming regions. Since 2017 a team of astrophysicists have been observing supermassive black holes, and the possibility that these entities could be birthing stars, finding evidence of new star birth from material being ejected from the black hole, called an outflow. An outflow of gas could be responsible for creating new stars by swirling around the center of the black hole, in something called an accretion disc. The possibility that the star formation happens in the accretion disk of the black hole was supported by observations.

Current astrophysics considers the principal features of a black hole, including its accretion disk, as depicted below:


The evidence of the role of black holes in galaxy formation keeps growing. Let us first address the discovery made by Zachary Schutte at Montana State University and his colleagues, when observing the black hole in a dwarf galaxy called Henize 2-10 which was spewing a crest of ionized gas about 500 light years long, stretching from the galactic center to a cloud of gas on the galaxy’s edge where stars were forming, as shown in the image below.


HST optical image of the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10. Taken from original paper.

Dwarf galaxies are intriguing subjects of study because they are presumably very similar to the galaxies formed in the early universe, containing a billion stars or less, and having at their center a Black hole or a supernova. Most of the times it is difficult to distinguish between one or the other, because their signal is too dim. Using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe and carry out spectroscopy on this dwarf galaxy (which is about 34 million light years away from Earth, in the constellation Pyxis), Schutte and his team developed a much higher resolution methodology for Hen 2-10, that enabled them to confirm that it is a black hole.  The authors of this study conclude that this black-hole outflow triggered the star formation of the galaxy, and their findings were published in Nature.

As the authors of this study explain, most black-hole-driven outflows in dwarf galaxies have been found in galaxies with well-defined nuclei and optically selected Active Galatic Nucleis (AGNs) with relatively high accretion rates, which suggests that the AGNs play a role in heating and expelling gas in the galaxies and quenching star formation, phenomenon called negative feedback.


“This is in stark contrast with Henize 2-10, which has an irregular central morphology, is intensely forming stars and is experiencing positive feedback from a weakly accreting black hole that is luminous at radio, rather than optical, wavelengths.” Original paper.  


The mystery on why are there galaxies -which are a collection of stars agglomerated in a spiral, elliptical or other geometries found in the cosmos- and how are they formed, had a second elucidation. Since most galaxies have shown to contain massive black holes at their centers, the idea that black holes act as seeds for galaxies to form around, is gaining more and more momentum. The primary obstacle for such scenario, was the lack of evidence proving that something must stop stars from falling into black holes as they form.

Stephen Adler, at Princeton University in New Jersey, has developed a new theory based on an interaction between black holes and the dark energy which provides a mechanism that could explain how a central black hole can catalyze star formation. This interaction with dark energy would cause black holes to leak matter creating a wind of particles that stream away.

“When this wind collides with infalling matter, the momentum cancels out leaving the products of the collision a certain distance from the black hole. It is this matter that then forms into stars.” The Physics arXiv Blog

As the preprints’ abstract of this study states,

The Newtonian and general relativistic equations for radial motion in the field of a central massive object are identical and have the property that particles infalling from rest at infinity, and black hole “wind” particles with relativistic velocity leaking out of a Schwarzschild-like black hole nominal horizon, both have the same magnitude of velocity at any radius from the hole. Hence when equally massive infalling and wind particles collide at any radius, they yield collision products with zero center of mass radial velocity, which can then nucleate star formation at the collision radius. We suggest that this gives a general mechanism by which a central black hole can catalyze galaxy formation


An illustration shows a distant galaxy with an active quasar at its center. A team from the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory recently discovered the earliest and most distant quasar known to science. Courtesy of NASA, ESA and J. Olmsted (STScI)

As Adler points out, the scenario in which a leaky black hole would catalyze galaxy formation, is the following: first, an accretion of dust particles leads to the formation of a black hole which keeps growing as more dust and stellar material is accreted. Then, collisions of relativistic wind particles coming from the black hole, with in falling dust particles, nucleate star formation; as the black hole grows in size, a galaxy of stars grows along with it.

Since Adler has focused on the spherically symmetric case (i.e., non rotating black holes), in the case of rotating black holes, then the ratio of angular momentum to mass of the hole would be expected to influence the geometry of the galaxy that is created, calling to the use of a more complicated metric, the Kerr metric.  

Adler explains in his preprint (sent to publication in dec 2021), that there are several detailed calculations to be performed to substantiate his proposed mechanism, such as:

  • Solving for the interior structure of the Schwarzschild-like black hole, to check the hypothesis that the emerging winds' speed is very close to the speed of light when the matter that makes up its mass is included in the modified gravitational equations.
  • Study the dynamics of opposing stellar flows in the presence of a gravitational gradient, to see if the proposed mechanism "circumvents the problem of excessive angular momentum in conventional pictures of star formation", and
  • Study the statistics when combining the transverse motions of the particles that collapse to form a single star, to see whether the formed stars have sufficient angular momentum to orbit the central black hole.

Additionally, and as explained in this dissemination article by The Physics arXiv Blog , if black holes do emit a “wind” in the way that Adler proposes, astronomers could see evidence of it, perhaps in our own galaxy having a supermassive black hole at its center, Sagittarius A*. Additionally, the process of star formation near black holes should also be visible, particularly for the first generations of stars in the early universe.

Fortunately, this early epoch is now currently visible to astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope, which was successfully launched earlier this month and has just arrived today to its final destination, to begin observations in the coming months. 

To read more about the relevance of the James Webb telescope, we recommend these articles by Natalie Wolchover, for quanta Magazine, and by Ethan Siegel, for BigThink.



The understanding on how these dwarf galaxies form stars, and the role of their central black hole in this process, can guide us through the evolution of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.  


RSF in perspective:

Adler’s theory focuses on non-rotating black holes, which are simpler to solve theoretically. Interestingly, he needed to employ a flow of incoming particles to find the solution he proposes for stationary black holes.  

Nassim Haramein’s theory has been predicting that matter production and star formation result from spin dynamics in the vacuum structure near the horizons of black holes. The spin dynamics result from the inclusion of torque and Coriolis forces in Einstein’s field equations and the Kerr-Newman solution—termed the Haramein-Rauscher solution—which describes the dynamical rotational structures of galaxies, novae, supernovae, and other astrophysical structures as driven by a spacetime torque, which is also responsible for the observed formation of spiral galaxies. The model is consistent with galactic structures having a super-massive black hole at their centers, as well as polar jets, accretion disks, spiral arms and galactic halo formations. Therefore, everything in the universe is spinning, and there are no such things as stationary black holes. Additionally, the relevance in distinguishing between a black hole, and a supernova, would not be an issue, because a supernova would have a black hole in its core, so in both cases we would be talking about a black hole; a rotating black hole. 

A rotating black hole can produce this kind of “wind” through the mechanism of the Haramein-Rauscher’s solution, which addresses the issue as well raised by the angular momentum that stars must acquire to end up in orbit around a black hole. A more complete study will be presented with Haramein’s upcoming paper “Scale invariant unification of process, fields and particles in a quantum vacuum plasma ” to be published soon.

A very complete explanation about this topic can be found in the following RSF article by Dr. Amira Val Baker and William Brown: Astrophysics Gets Turned On Its Head, Black Holes Come First, addressing the comparison between the conventional cosmological model of galactic, stellar, and black hole formation, and the model developed by Haramein. The conventional model states that black holes form from the core collapse of massive stars greater than 20 solar masses;  once a massive star has reached its limit for continued thermonuclear fusion—which for even the most massive stars stops at the element iron—then there is no longer sufficient energy radiating outward to counter-balance the inward gravitational force of the star, therefore the star undergoes gravitational collapse forming a stellar remnant in the form of a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole, as depicted below.

Image source Astrophysics Gets Turned On Its Head, Black Holes Come First.

Perhaps the most unsettling problem of this perspective is the recent observation of supermassive black holes that reside at the edge of the visible universe and hence are some of the oldest structures in the universe.


If black holes are formed from stellar collapse, then how can supermassive black holes be present when the first stars were just beginning to form?


Haramein’s model gives a simple answer: black holes form first, during the early epochs of the universe when energy densities were extremely large, and they then act as the nucleating centers guiding star and galaxy formation, as seen in the image below.

Image source Astrophysics Gets Turned On Its Head, Black Holes Come First.

As Val Baker and Brown explain, immediately following the so-called Big Bang, energy densities will be so great that black holes should be expected to be produced in vast quantities. And calculations show that the size of the black hole is determined by the time-evolution following the Big Bang, which is to say that black holes smaller than a stellar mass could have formed in the earliest stages, known as primordial black holes (PBHs). Therefore, at a Planck time after the Big Bang (which is ~10-43­s), black holes of Planck mass (~10-5g) would form (see Bernard Carr, Quantum Black holes as the Link Between Microphysics and Macrophysics, 2017).


“Haramein has utilized these Planck-sized black holes, referred to as Planck Spherical Oscillators in his paper Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass, to calculate the exact mass of objects from elementary particles to stars and astronomical black holes using spacetime quanta, discovering a scale-invariant quantum gravitational solution.” Val Baker & Brown.  


From all of the above, it becomes clear that stars forming in the horizon of a black hole are also black holes, since it is the dynamics of a singularity located in that region of space where the stream of particles is converging; they converge in that region precisely because there is a singularity at that place, which starts to radiate when enough mass-energy has been accumulated.  In Haramein's framework, this is called a white hole. Therefore, white holes are that part of the spin dynamics of space that radiate, while on the other side of the event horizon, it is a black hole. 

The new discoveries presented in this article support the mechanism proposed by Haramein’s holographic theory. The leading understanding on black holes is evolving and getting closer to Nassim Haramein’s perspective!

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