This is the astro-ph blog of the Theoretical Modelling of Cosmic Structures group (TMoX) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. We are an independent Max-Planck Research Group focusing on the various aspects in the formation and evolution of galaxies. Part of our focus is on the formation and evolution of early-type galaxies, super-massive black holes, the formation of the first structures in the universe and the enrichment history of the Universe. We are theoreticians using analytic modelling as well as numerical simulations in our work.

The CosmologyCake blog is dedicated to the discussion of research papers and current developments. We will regularly post interesting papers and comment on them. Feel free to leave your comments as well. We encourage authors of discussed papers to post replies if they wish to. Our aim is to provide a platform to discuss recent astro-ph papers within a wider audience. Please feel free to send papers you would like to be discussed to us at

19 January 2011

An Actively Accreting Massive Black Hole in the Dwarf Starburst Galaxy Henize 2-10

Authors: Reines et al.
Link to the paper: arXiv:1101.1309

The authors report observations strongly suggesting the presence of a central black hole in a blue compact dwarf galaxy. The mass of the black hole is estimated to be ~10^6 MSun, which is intriguing given that the galaxy itself has no bulge, nucleus, or nuclear stellar cluster. In turn, the authors suggest that in the early universe black holes may have formed before the stellar components of the first dwarf galaxies.


  1. It is noted that, if the entire stellar component (~10^9 MSun) of this BCD galaxy is taken as a 'bulge,' then the mass found for the black hole (~10^6 MSun) places it roughly in line with the otherwise observed black hole mass - bulge mass relation. This despite the authors' observation that the galaxy is atypical, for having such a massive black hole, in that there is no nulclear star cluster.

  2. But for atypical galaxies, the BH mass - bulge mass relation does not hold...