New observations of a nearby active galaxy called NGC 3783 have given a team of astronomers including Sebastian Hoenig, a UC Santa Barbara postdoctoral fellow in physics a surprise. The research, which focuses on the discovery of a dusty wind associated with the process of black hole formation, was presented in the June 20th edition of the Astrophysical Journal. Some black holes grow by drawing in matter from their surroundings, in the process creating active galactic nuclei (AGN). The newly discovered dust forms a cool wind streaming outward from the black hole. Models of how the dust is distributed and how supermassive black holes grow and evolve must now take into account this newly discovered effect.
Read the full press release at the link to the right.