Black Hole 'Donuts' are Actually 'Fountains'

Based on computer simulations by "ATERUI" and new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have found that the rings of gas surrounding active supermassive black holes are not simple donut shapes. Instead gas expelled from the center interacts with infalling gas to create a dynamic circulation pattern, similar to a water fountain in a city park. (November 30, 2018 press release)

See the full story: ALMA Project press release: "Black Hole 'Donuts' are Actually 'Fountains'"



Figure1: ALMA image of the gas around the supermassive black hole in the center of the Circinus Galaxy. The distributions of CO molecular gas and C atomic gas are shown in orange and cyan, respectively. (Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Izumi et al.)
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Figure 2:
[Left] Artist’s impression of the gas motion around the supermassive black hole in the center of the Circinus Galaxy. The three gaseous components form the long-theorized “donut" structure: (1) a disk of infalling dense cold molecular gas, (2) outflowing hot atomic gas, and (3) gas returning to the disk. (Credit: NAOJ)
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[Right] Cross section of the gas around a supermassive black hole simulated with NAOJ’s supercomputer ATERUI. The different colors represent the density of the gas, and the arrows show the motion of the gas. It clearly shows the three gaseous components forming the "donut" structure. (Credit: Wada et al.)
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[Computers used in this research]

In this research, the supercomputer "ATERUI" operated by CfCA were used for simulations of the motions and structures of gas around an AGN. "ATERUI" is NAOJ's 4th generation supercomputer dedicated for astronomical simulations. The theoretical peak performance is 1.058 Pflops. This system had been operated until March 2018. (Photo credit: NAOJ)



[Paper Details]

Title: "Circumnuclear Multiphase Gas in the Circinus Galaxy. II. The Molecular and Atomic Obscuring Structures Revealed with ALMA"
Journal: Astrophysical Journal
Authors: Takuma Izumi, Keiichi Wada, Ryosuke Fukushige, Sota Hamamura, and Kotaro Kohno
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aae20b

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[Related Links]

ALMA Project Press Release "Black Hole 'Donuts' are Actually 'Fountains'"
NAOJ Press Release "Black Hole 'Donuts' are Actually 'Fountains'"

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