Astronomers solved the mystery of blue nugget galaxies.

Master Blaster

In the farthest reaches of the universe, there are some galaxies with perplexing forms.

These galaxies, called blue nuggets due to their high concentration of blue-colored stars, are considerably smaller than average — but are home to mind-bendingly gargantuan supermassive black holes. Now, according to Space.com, astronomers think they’ve identified how the galaxies’ development was stunted in the early days of the universe.

Arrested Development

These blue nuggets churned out baby stars much faster than a typical galaxy would thanks to jets of nearby cosmic gases that fired the metaphorical furnace, according to research accepted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that was shared on the preprint server ArXiv.

The blue nuggets’ central black holes also fed on those cosmic gases, inflating to enormous sizes. As Space.com puts it, the poor overstuffed black holes had no choice but to commit a party foul of cosmic proportions and vomit all over the rest of the galaxy — eruptions so powerful that they shut down star formation, freezing the bizarre galaxies in time.

READ MORE: Astronomers Solve the Mystery of Small Galaxies with Monster Black Holes [Space.com]

More on black holes: These Bizarre Objects May Have “Seeded” Supermassive Black Holes


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