According to a Cambridge U press release just in, the longest ever X-ray observation (1 million seconds) of a galaxy cluster proves that black holes can span intergalactic distances and actually block growth of the largest galaxies.
The Cambridge team has obtained new evidence that black holes are far more powerful cosmic entities than previously thought. Their influence can span vast distances, the researchers claim, heating the gas between galaxies and putting a restraining order on galactic size as stars can only form when gases cool. “It’s as if a heat source the size of a fingernail heats up a region the size of Earth,” team member Andrew Fabian explained.
Don’t you just love these comparisons? Why not say a gas fire heating up Jupiter instead, or an LED heating up the moon, or something equally unimaginable…oh well…the research replete with simile I assume is published in the December “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society”. It’s like a single research paper illuminating a pan-galactic civilisation, or not as the case may be.