Supermassive black holes are an intrinsic component of most galaxies in our universe, but astronomers aren't quite sure how they originate and how they influence galactic evolution. Their impacts, however, are clear. Observations suggest that these supermassive behemoths have the power to stimulate star formation in their host galaxies — or stop it cold.
To understand how supermassive black holes evolve and how they impact galaxy formation, astrophysicists are increasingly turning to complex cosmological models simulated by some of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The results of one such model have been published in a trio of papers, and it could be the key to understanding some of the biggest mysteries hanging over modern astrophysics.