Astronomers have long been perplexed by mysterious properties observed at the heart of many large galaxies.

This region is home to ultra-bright cores known as active galactic nuclei (AGNs), where matter spirals into the supermassive black hole.

These black holes, however, are surrounded by fast-moving gas that’s been found to give off fewer emissions than expected, causing some to suspect AGNs may actually be home to two black holes, not one.

Now, a new study has finally pinpointed what could be the explanation, revealing small dusty clouds may be to blame for skewing what we see, creating the appearance of asymmetry.

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Astronomers have long been perplexed by mysterious properties observed at the heart of many large galaxies. This region is home to ultra-bright cores known as active galactic nuclei (AGNs), where matter spirals into the supermassive black hole. Artist's impression

Astronomers have long been perplexed by mysterious properties observed at the heart of many large galaxies.This region is home to ultra-bright cores known as active galactic nuclei (AGNs), where matter spirals into the supermassive black hole. Artist’s impression

According to the new study from the University of California, Santa Cruz, clouds of dust and not twin black holes are likely causing the unusual phenomena in AGNs.

Emissions from the gas around black holes, https://www.kwatery-w-augustowie.online/ known as the broad-line region, are useful in determining the black hole’s mass and how it is growing.

While much about their nature remains to be discovered, the new models could help to answer one of the longstanding questions.

‘We’ve shown that a lot of mysterious properties of active galactic nuclei can be explained by these dusty clouds causing changes in what we see,’ said Martin Gaskell, a research associate in astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC. 

As gas spirals toward the black hole, it forms an accretion disk which gives off thermal radiation. 

Some of the light from the disk is absorbed and re-emitted, while a region of dust sits in a layer above.

‘Once the dust crosses a certain threshold it is subjected to the strong radiation from the accretion disk,’ says co-author Peter Harrington.

A new study has finally pinpointed what could be the explanation, revealing small dusty clouds may be to blame for skewing what we see, creating the appearance of asymmetry. Artist's impression

A new study has finally pinpointed what could be the explanation, revealing small dusty clouds may be to blame for skewing what we see, creating the appearance of asymmetry.Artist’s impression

According to the researchers, the dust clouds can make the light from behind look fainter and redder.

When this effect is considered in the models, the gas no longer appears to have a changing, asymmetrical distribution as previously noted.

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