Black-hole-triggered star formation in the dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC


Black-hole-driven outflows have been observed in some dwarf galaxies with active galactic nuclei1 , and probably play a role in heating and expelling gas (thereby suppressing star formation), as they do in larger galaxies2 . The extent to which black-hole outflows can trigger star formation in dwarf galaxies is unclear, because work in this area has previously focused on massive galaxies and the observational evidence is scarce3–5 . Henize 2-10 is a dwarf starburst galaxy previously reported to have a central massive black hole6–9 , although that interpretation has been disputed because some aspects of the observational evidence are also consistent with a supernova remnant10,11 . At a distance of approximately 9 Mpc, it presents an opportunity to resolve the central region and to determine if there is evidence for a black-hole outflow influencing star formation. Here we report optical observations of Henize 2-10 with a linear resolution of a few parsecs. We find an approximately 150-pc-long ionized filament connecting the region of the black hole with a site of recent star formation. Spectroscopy reveals a sinusoid-like position–velocity structure that is well described by a simple precessing bipolar outflow. We conclude that this black-hole outflow triggered the star formation.


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black hole star


Schutte, Z., & Reines, A. E. (2022). Black-hole-triggered star formation in the dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10. Nature, 601(7893), 329-333.
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