Black holes located at the cores of galaxies launch fountains of charged particles, which can stir up gas throughout the galaxy and temporarily interrupt star formation.

But unless something intervenes, the gas will eventually cool and start forming stars again. The astronomers found that supernovas might act as the maid service of the universe by sweeping the gas, thus shutting off star formation.

"Our previous research had shown that black-hole outbursts can limit star formation in massive galaxies, but they can not completely shut it off," said team leader Mark Voit, professor at Michigan State University in US.

"Something else needs to keep sweeping out the gas that dying stars continually dump into a galaxy, and supernova appears to work perfectly for that," Voit pointed out.

This research was recently published in Science News and Astrophysical Journal Letters.


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