Using the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers detected a galactic-scale supermassive wind driven by a black hole in the HSC J124353.93 + 010038.5 (J1243 + 0100 for short), a low-light quasar seen as it was 13.1 billion years ago.
“A supermassive black hole swallows a large amount of matter,” said Dr Takuma Izumi of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and his colleagues.
âAs this matter begins to move at high speed due to the gravity of the black hole, it emits intense energy, which can push surrounding matter outward. This is how the galactic wind is created.
âThe question is, when did the galactic winds appear in the Universe? “
âThis is an important question because it is linked to an important problem in astronomy: how did galaxies and supermassive black holes co-evolve? “
Astronomers used ALMA to observe the galaxy J1243 + 0100, which had previously been discovered by the Subaru telescope.
They picked up the radio waves emitted by dust and carbon ions from the galaxy.
Detailed analysis of the ALMA data revealed a high speed gas flow moving at 500 km per second.
This gas flow has enough energy to push stellar matter back into the galaxy and stop star-forming activity.
The gas flow found in this study is truly a galactic wind, and it is the oldest observed example of a galaxy with a huge galactic-sized wind.
The previous record holder was a galaxy about 13 billion years ago; this observation therefore pushes the beginning of 100 million years back.
The researchers also measured the motion of the silent gas at J1243 + 0100 and estimated the mass of the galaxy’s bulge to be around 30 billion solar masses.
The mass of the galaxy’s supermassive black hole, estimated by another method, was about 1% of it.
The mass ratio of the bulge to the supermassive black hole in this galaxy is almost identical to the mass ratio of black holes to galaxies in the modern Universe.
This implies that the coevolution of supermassive black holes and galaxies has occurred less than a billion years after the birth of the Universe.
“Our observations support recent high-precision computer simulations which predicted that co-evolving relationships were in place even around 13 billion years ago,” Dr Izumi said.
“We plan to observe a large number of such objects in the future, and hope to clarify whether the primordial coevolution seen in this object is an accurate picture of the General Universe at this time.”
the results were published online in the Astrophysics Journal.
Takuma Izumi et al. 2021. Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). XIII. Large-scale feedback and star formation in a low-light quasar at z = 7.07 on the relationship between local black hole and host mass. ApJ 914, 36; doi: 10.3847 / 1538-4357 / abf6dc