Did You Know? Supermassive black holes play crucial role in star formation

Active black holes are primarily thought to have a destructive influence on their surroundings. As they blast energy into their host galaxy, they heat up and eject that galaxy's gas, making it more difficult for the galaxy to produce new stars.

Black holes can not only rip stars apart, but they can also trigger star formation, as scientists have now seen in a nearby dwarf galaxy. At the centers of most, if not all, large galaxies are supermassive black holes with masses that are millions to billions of times that of Earth's sun.

the star formation rate depends on many other factors, including the temperature of the gas, turbulent motions, the gravitational potential of the surroundings, magnetic effects, ionizing photons from nearby stars, and more.

It is believed that supermassive black holes lie at the centers of most galaxies in our Universe. When particles that were infalling onto these black holes are trapped by magnetic fields, they can be ejected outwards and travel far inside galaxies in the form of enormous and powerful jets of plasma. These jets are often perpendicular to galactic disks. 

In IC 5063, however, a galaxy 156 million light years away, the jets are actually propagating within the disk, interacting with cold and dense molecular gas clouds. From this interaction, compression of jet-impacted clouds is theorized to be possible, leading to gravitational instabilities and eventually star formation due to the gas condensation.

For the experiment, the team used the emission of carbon monoxide (CO) and formyl cation (HCO+) provided by ALMA, and the emission of ionized sulfur and ionized nitrogen provided by VLT. 

They then used advanced and innovative astrochemical algorithms to pinpoint the environmental conditions in the outflow and in the surrounding medium. These environmental conditions contain information about the strength of the far-ultraviolet radiation of stars, the rate at which relativistic charged particles ionize the gas, and the mechanical energy deposited on the gas by the jets. Narrowing down these conditions revealed the densities and gas temperatures descriptive of different parts of this galaxy, which were then used to provide pressures.