BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The latest study comes with new data that might help explain why some galaxies seem brighter than others when viewed and followed from Earth.
This study calls into question the commonly accepted unified model, which suggests that this difference in appearance comes from the angle at which some galaxies point towards Earth.
A supermassive black hole, known as the active galactic nuclei or AGN, lies at the center of most galaxies. The new study suggests that these AGNs are the reason and cause of the differences in the appearance of galaxies.
“Hungry” Black Holes make Galaxies Seem Brighter
The popular theory known as the unified model suggests that the two types of galaxies appear to be different because rings of dust conceal Type II galaxies. This theory was accepted and withheld for years. The unified model does not, however, explain the differences in spectral readings from these galaxies.
An international team of researchers used X-ray data from the NASA Burst Alert Telescope to take a look at the two types of galaxies. This helped them determine that Type I galaxies, in fact, emit energy more efficiently.
The Burst Alert Telescope detects X-rays emitted from the AGN. So the researchers compared data from these two types of galaxies and found that the “hungry” black holes of the Type I galaxies eat up matter and radiate energy faster than Type II galaxies.
As such, the research team suggests that Type II galaxies have more dust in the area surrounding their AGNs. This dust could also have an impact on gas as it comes near the active galactic nuclei.
Researchers also measured the mass and expansion rate of the AGN in both types of galaxies. Previous studies focused on Type II galaxies because the brightness of the Type I ones made them harder to observe.
This new data also suggests that scientists should take another look at Type I galaxies. Researchers hope that their findings could contribute to making sense of how the central supermassive black holes define their galaxies.
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