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Black holes in the early universe

  1. Jun 18, 2011 #1

    bcrowell

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    I'm pretty ignorant about astrophysics, but this made it into the newspaper today, and it seemed interesting.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.3079

    "Black hole growth in the early Universe is self-regulated and largely hidden from view," Treister et al.

    "The formation of the first massive objects in the infant Universe remains impossible to observe directly and yet it sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of galaxies. While some black holes with masses > billion solar masses? have been detected in luminous quasars less than one billion years after the Big Bang, these individual extreme objects have limited utility in constraining the channels of formation of the earliest black holes. The initial conditions of black hole seed properties are quickly erased during the growth process. From deep, optimally stacked, archival X-ray observations, we measure the amount of black hole growth in z=6-8 galaxies (0.7-1 billion years after the Big Bang). Our results imply that black holes grow in tandem with their hosts throughout cosmic history, starting from the earliest times. We find that most copiously accreting black holes at these epochs are buried in significant amounts of gas and dust that absorb most radiation except for the highest energy X-rays. This suggests that black holes grow significantly more than previously thought during these early bursts, and due to obscuration they do not contribute to the re-ionization of the Universe with their ultraviolet emission. "
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2011 #2
    It's possible that such black holes came from a previous cosmic cycle. They might be pre-cosmic relics according to recent work... http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.3796" [Broken] ...though I wonder what might lurk behind their event horizons...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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