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Birth of Supermassive Black holes Explained, Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope

May 26, 2016 08:55 AM EDT
NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of black hole
According to the recent findings of Italian astrophysicists, they found two potential black hole seeds which could explain how these cosmic giants are born.
(Photo : NASA)

The origin of the cosmic giant, the supermassive black hole, is a mystery to scientists. But recent findings by Italian astrophysicists may explain how they came about.

According to their findings, potential seeds give birth to massive black holes. They also identified two potential seeds found in the universe.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said that a team of Italian astrophysicists identified two objects from the early Universe, and they believe it to be the origin of supermassive black holes. These seeds are the most 'promising' candidate so far, added the agency.


Findings from the Hubble Space Telescope and two other telescopes, namely the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope of NASA and ESA, were gathered and scrutinized. The black hole seeds were seen less than a billion year after the Big Bang occurred. The seeds are also relatively large in mass at about 100,000 times than the sun.

There are a lot of theories claiming how the supermassive black holes were formed but only two are generally accepted by scientists. One theory says that the black holes grow from seeds 'about ten to a hundred times greater than our Sun'. The seeds then grow and merge with other seeds by pulling in the surrounding gas from their environment.

However, the new data from Hubble space telescope and the two other machines, point toward the second theory which states that the supermassive black holes are formed when a giant massive cloud of gas collapses, creating black hole seeds with 100,000 times the mass of the Sun. In this scenario, the birth of black holes happens more quickly.

"Black hole seeds are extremely hard to find and confirming their detection is very difficult. However, we think our research has uncovered the two best candidates so far", said Andrea Grazian, a co-author from the National Institute for Astrophysics, in a press release by ESA.

The black holes have created much interest but it is only today that astrophysicists are positive with the success of their findings. "Our discovery, if confirmed, would explain how these monster black holes were born," said Fabio Pacucci, lead author of the study, in a report by Phys.Org.

The Italian experts proceed in examining more data using X-rays and infrared to find out if the two possible seeds indeed have properties to give birth to black holes.


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