Skip to main content

Active Galaxies

At Leeds we are interested in the interplay between supernova explosions, stellar winds and star formation, and the relation of this interaction to activity in galaxies and their nuclei. Galaxies with a high rate of star formation often display very hot gas that streams out of the plane of the galaxy as a superwind. This is formed through the combined action of supernovae and stellar winds which shock and create a region of high pressured gas, which can stimulate further star formation, eventually promoting more supernova explosions. This feedback is very dependent on the hydrodynamical structure of the superwind.

The nuclear regions of active galaxies almost certainly contain black holes, accretion discs and recently formed stellar clusters. The line spectra (both in emission and absorption) show that there is violent dynamical activity occurring where gas is moving often at velocities close to the speed of light. At Leeds we are investigating models of the nuclear regions where supernovae and stellar winds interact with radiatively driven nuclear winds and the very strong radiation fields produced as gas accretes onto the central black hole. Multi-dimensional numerical modelling of these interactions is central to these studies.