Astronomers have discovered what they call “supermassive” black holes, supermassive black holes that appear to violate the well-established relationship between the stellar mass of the host galaxy and the mass of the central black hole. Black holes are very large and this excess tells us something profound about the origin of these objects.
Astronomers used the James Webb Space Telescope to observe 21 very distant systems. Its light comes to us between 12 billion and 13.2 billion years ago. In the current universe, the ratio between a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and a star in its galaxy is 1 in 1,000. But in these systems, the ratio between the two masses is as high as 1 in 100, 1 in 10, and even 1 in 1.
“In the nearby universe, there is a known relationship between the mass of the central supermassive black hole and the mass of stars in its host galaxies,” says the lead author. Dr. Fabio Pacucci Center for Astrophysics | Harvard University and the Smithsonian told IFLScience. “Typically, a black hole has a mass of about 0.1% of the mass of a star. This is not the case in the distant universe. Obviously, ‘massive’ black holes are an appropriate name.”
The James Webb Space Telescope has pushed humans' ability to see further into the early universe (also known as the high-z universe), and while we have yet to witness the birth of one of these supermassive black holes, this new study provides more evidence about how these black holes came to be. Strange things came to me.
The “light seed” scenario consists of very massive stars, 100 to 1,000 times the mass of the Sun, that go supernova. Instead, the “heavy seed” scenario suggests that the massive clouds of gas from which those stars form also formed massive black holes weighing 10,000 to 100,000 times the mass of the Sun.
“Several studies (dating back many years) suggest that if the first black holes formed as heavy seeds, their mass should have been similar to the stellar mass of their hosts at high temperature,” explained Dr. Bacucci. “This appears to be what we are seeing with James Webb Space Telescope observations.
This is not the first evidence that the heavy seed scenario may be the most likely formation path. Previous observations combining data from the James Webb Space Telescope and X-rays from NASA's Chandra also favored this scenario over the light seed. The heavy seed would also affect the entire galaxy in a way that could better explain why these objects remain so massive for a while.
“These massive galactic systems may have formed heavy seeds with a mass close to that of their host stars. Hence, given the size of the central supermassive black hole, they may have released so much energy that they inhibited star formation for a period of time. This The combination of reasons could explain why we primarily observe supermassive black holes in the high-Z universe using the James Webb Space Telescope, violating the local relationship.
“Using the James Webb Space Telescope, it will be possible to determine how the first supermassive black holes formed by finding black holes farther away and smaller than those found so far, which our study predicts will be very abundant,” said Roberto Maiolino, co-author, Professor at Cambridge University V.A. said: statement.
The study is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters It was presented at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
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