Astronomers from the University of Southampton, the Canary Islands Institute for Astrophysics, and the Space Science Institute have studied galaxies with active nuclei (AGNs) and found that star formation increases before extinction.

The team analyzed over 3,000 nearby galaxies. They used new methods of data analysis to understand how the process of star formation is changing within them. The researchers found that galaxies are going through a “rejuvenation phase”: most galaxies with active black holes form more stars than before.

Star formation is the process during which galaxies form stars. The team concluded that the “rejuvenation” period of galaxies with active nuclei may be the last stage before they completely stop forming new stars.

Galaxies with active nuclei contain continuously growing black holes that emit large amounts of energy. This increases the speed at which they form stars. In galaxies with active nuclei, powerful winds displace gas from the energy of black holes, thereby removing material to create new stars.

The reason for the stopping of star formation in galaxies is one of the mysteries of the Universe. It is filled with trillions of galaxies, each with billions of stars. Scientists believed that star formation in galaxies decreased over time, but new research contradicts this theory.