Hawai'i astronomer finds new voracious black holes in the early universeUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Press Contact, Institute for Astronomy
Einstein Fellow, Institute for Astronomy
“It appears we’ve found a whole new population of baby black holes,” said co-author Kevin Schawinski of Yale University. “We think these babies will grow by a factor of about a hundred or a thousand, eventually becoming like the giant black holes we see today almost 13 billion years later.”
A population of very young black holes in the early universe had been predicted, but not yet observed. Detailed calculations show that the total amount of black hole growth observed by this team is about a hundred times higher than recent estimates.
Because these very young black holes are nearly all enshrouded in thick clouds of gas and dust, optical telescopes frequently cannot detect them. However, the high energies of X-ray light can penetrate these veils, allowing the black holes inside to be studied.
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