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I Are there black holes in Galaxy clusters?

  1. Jul 5, 2016 #1
    I know that I'm most galaxies black holes live in the center. I'm wondering if this is true for Galaxy clusters. Are there black holes in the center of galaxy clusters?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2016 #2


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    I can't say for sure but I see absolutely no reason why we should expect for there to be. The formation of galaxies is very likely tied up with the central SMBH in some as yet unknown way, but clusters of galaxies would not seem to need them.
  4. Jul 5, 2016 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    As best we can tell, probably not. As phinds says, the central black hole is likely to be intimately involved in the formation of galaxies. But galaxy clusters don't form the same way. (In fact, as best we can tell, galaxy clusters are just a side effect of the way galaxies formed--the fact that the original fluctuations in density in the universe that led to the formation of galaxies were "clumped" in such a way that the galaxies were clustered together, with voids in between the clusters, instead of being spread evenly throughout the universe.)
  5. Jul 5, 2016 #4
    I was just wondering because galaxies have enough mass to create a black hole, that Galaxy clusters will create enough of a "bend" to create a black hole. Can someone give me some details?

    Video clips and articles are welcome
  6. Jul 5, 2016 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Creating a black hole is not a matter of having "enough mass". Black holes can be of any mass. What is required is to have enough mass in a very small volume.

    We do not know exactly how the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies formed, but a plausible scenario is that the stars at the centers of galaxies formed individual black holes by gravitational collapse, and then those holes gradually merged into the supermassive ones we see at the centers of galaxies now. This is plausible because stars at the centers of galaxies are close enough together that you can get enough mass in a small enough volume.

    A similar scenario does not work for galaxy clusters because individual galaxies in a cluster are too far apart, and there is no plausible way for the holes at the centers of galaxies to merge into larger ones.
  7. Jul 5, 2016 #6
    Thank you, this is an excellent answer. I should have specified over the mass part (I wasn't clear enough)
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