Galactic core activity not triggered by galaxy mergers

The following was originally posted by gmagee in November 2011:

Astronomers are now surprised that galaxy mergers are not necessary to trigger the active state of galactic cores.   They conclude that another “secular” process must be responsible. They were also surprised that the early galaxies look so similar to nearby galaxies.

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-galaxy-mergers-trigger-black-hole.html

Response to the above posting:
The point that gmagee makes above concerns what induces a galaxy’s supermassive core to turn on and enter its active state.  Astronomers had originally thought that galaxy collisions triggered this activity.  If so, the discs of such galaxies should be seen to be severely disturbed.  But observations now show that this is not the case.  Kocevski et al. studied galaxies as far away as 11 billion light years and found that those with active cores looked no different than disc galaxies with nonactive cores.  They conclude that whatever turns on a supermassive galactic core must occur internal to the galaxy.  One suggestion has been that a galactic core might turn itself on by randomly accreting a passing star.  But, this too is problematic.  For a single star is unable to provide enough matter to fuel the energy output of an active galactic nucleus.  Moreover it is difficult to imagine how matter could become accreted by a galactic core since even in its off state a core radiates a substantial cosmic ray radiation blast.

The physics of subquantum kinetics, however, provides an easy solution.  An external stellar accretion event could serve as a trigger, but the energy released by its accretion would not be the main power source for a newly activated core.  Genic energy arising within the core is the main source powering a core outburst.  A quiescent galactic core eventually becomes unstable because its internal matter creation has caused its continuous growth, deepened its gravity well, and pushed its genic energy production past a certain critical threshold.  The energy released by a stellar infall event can then trigger the unstable core to enter a runaway mode of excessive genic energy production, boosting its genic energy output by a factor of a hundred thousand to a million.  This active period lasts until the core has explosively ejected enough mass to once again return to its quiescent, low genic energy production state.

P. LaViolette
2011, updated February 2013

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