New clues point to the “cosmic seed” of giant black holes


How formed supermassive black holes in the universe? A group of researchers, based on data collected by large telescopes of the US space agency NASA, could find evidence pointing to the origin of these giant formations, the “cosmic seed” of supermassive black holes.

The research results, which will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomic Society, pointed out the reason for the appearance of the exceptionally large black holes. “We found evidence that the seeds of supermassive black holes can be formed directly from the collapse of a giant cloud of gas without going through the intermediate steps,” said a NASA statement researcher Fabio Pacucci, the Scuola Normale Superiore Italian university.

Scientists believe that in the center of all large galaxies have a supermassive black hole, including our own, the Milky Way. These black holes, whose mass can be thousands of millions of times greater than our sun formed relatively shortly after the beginning of the universe. But how these arose it remains mysterious. One of the existing theories that describes the seeds of these black holes arose when smaller black holes merged and absorbed gas from their environments.

The new theory presented by these researchers, however, shows that some of the first supermassive black holes arose when clouds of gas collapsed. “Our work suggests that we are approaching an answer,” says co-author Andrea Ferrara. “The black holes may soon start big and go growing at a normal speed, and do not start small and grow abnormally fast.”

To identify possible seeds of supermassive black holes, scientists used data from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and then, using computerized models, they found the best candidates.

“The seeds of black holes are extremely difficult to find and confirm their detection is very difficult,” said co-author Andrea Grazian, the Italian Institute of Astrophysics National. “However, we believe that our research has uncovered the two best candidates to date.”

New clues point to the “cosmic seed” of giant black holes
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