The quiescent intracluster medium in the core of the Perseus cluster

Journal: Nature

Published: 2016-07-07

DOI: 10.1038/nature18627

Affiliations: 72

Authors: 215

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Research Highlight

A calm oasis in a galaxy cluster far, far away

© Stocktrek Images/Getty

© Stocktrek Images/Getty

Supermassive black holes could be controlling galaxy growth by overheating intergalactic gas.

Black holes in the centre of galaxy groups spew out vast amounts of energy thought to shake up gas within the cluster, creating turbulence that makes it tricky to calculate the cluster’s total mass. The Hitomi collaboration, including researchers from Kanazawa University, launched a satellite to measure gas motion in the gigantic Perseus cluster, 240 million light years away.

Before a technical error condemned the spacecraft, it sent back vivid X-ray images of Perseus. The space between the galaxies at its core appeared surprisingly calm, suggesting that measurements of galaxy cluster mass do not need to be corrected for turbulence after all.

The images also revealed that energy from the black hole was heating the gas to 10 to 100 million degrees Celsius. Stars can only form when the gas is cool enough to slow down and clump together, so the black hole is effectively controlling galaxy growth, the authors say.

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  1. Nature 535,117–121 (2016). doi: 10.1038/nature18627
Institutions FC WFC
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), JAXA, Japan 0.15 0.15
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), United States of America (USA) 0.11 0.11
Department of Physics, Nagoya University, Japan 0.05 0.05
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Netherlands 0.04 0.04
Department of Physical Sciences, HU, Japan 0.03 0.03
Department of Physics, TMU, Japan 0.03 0.03
Department of Physics, Rikkyo University, Japan 0.02 0.02
Astrophysics, Instrumentation and Modelling (AIM), France 0.02 0.02
RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science (RNC), Japan 0.02 0.02
Department of Earth and Space Science (ESS), Osaka University, Japan 0.02 0.02
Institute of Astronomy (IoA), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK) 0.02 0.02
Department of Physics, Kyoto University, Japan 0.02 0.02
Department of Astronomy, UMCP, United States of America (USA) 0.02 0.02
University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland 0.02 0.02
Stanford Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), United States of America (USA) 0.02 0.02
Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, Japan 0.01 0.01
School of Mathematics and Physics, KU, Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Applied Physics and Electronic Engineering, University of Miyazaki, Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, TUS, Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, Tokyo Tech, Japan 0.01 0.01
Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (YCAA), United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Astronomy, Kyoto University, Japan 0.01 0.01
European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), ESA, Spain 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, UMBC, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Stanford Department of Physics, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), ESA, Netherlands 0.01 0.01
Faculty of Science / Graduate School of Science, Nara Women's University, Japan 0.01 0.01
RIKEN Global Research Cluster (GRC), Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics and Mathematics, AGU, Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Astronomy, U-M, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Astronomy and Physics, SMU, Canada 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, UTokyo, Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, Ehime University, Japan 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, UM, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, Saitama University, Japan 0.01 0.01
Astronomy and Astrophysics Section, DIAS, Ireland 0.01 0.01
Stanford SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Faculty of Liberal Arts, Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan 0 0
Department of Physics, Yamagata University, Japan 0 0
Faculty of Education, Nara University of Education, Japan 0 0
Astronomical Observatory of the Jagiellonian University (OAUJ), Poland 0 0
Faculty of Health Science, Nihon Fukushi University, Japan 0 0
Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), Nagoya University, Japan 0 0
Faculty of Education, Shizuoka University, Japan 0 0
University of Waterloo, Canada 0 0
Department of Astronomy, CU, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manitoba, Canada 0 0
Advanced Medical Instrumentation Unit, OIST, Japan 0 0
Research Center for Nuclear Physics (RCNP), Osaka University, Japan 0 0
Department of Physics and Astronomy, RU, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Physics, UW-Madison, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe (KMI), Nagoya University, Japan 0 0
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Physics, Durham University, United Kingdom (UK) 0 0
School of Physics and Astronomy (P&A), Soton, United Kingdom (UK) 0 0
Faculty of Education, Aichi University of Education, Japan 0 0
Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan 0 0
Faculty of Human Development / Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University, Japan 0 0
Kyushu University, Japan 0 0
Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering (WISE), Waseda University, Japan 0 0
JAXA’s Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC), Japan 0 0
Department of Physics, Toho University, Japan 0 0
College of Systems Engineering and Science, SIT, Japan 0 0
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), United States of America (USA) 0 0
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Russia 0 0
Universities Space Research Association (USRA), United States of America (USA) 0 0
Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University, Japan 0 0
Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, JHU, United States of America (USA) 0 0

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