Scientists solve mystery of early supermassive black holes
The birth of early supermassive black holes has been puzzling astronomers since they were first detected more than a decade ago. However, a new study claims that scientists may finally be a step closer to solving the mystery.
The earliest supermassive black holes, with mass around a billion times of the Sun, came into existence just 800,000 years after the so-called Big Bang. But, scientists say it should take millions of years for such voids to accumulate that much mass.
Thus, astronomers remained perplexed over how these black holes grew so quickly. A team of scientists from Ireland’s Dublin City University, the US’ Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Finland’s University of Helsinki, found in the new study that it might be due to radiation.
The scientists found that clumping of gas to form dense pockets of material in a galaxy marks the first stage of star formation. But this process is hindered by radiation, which makes the birth of new stars impossible.
Lead study author John Regan, a researcher from Dublin City University, added, “Understanding how supermassive black holes form tells us how galaxies, including our own, form and evolve, and ultimately, tells us more about the universe in which we live.”
The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the Nature Astronomy.