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Astronomers saw evidence of super-massive black holes forming directly in the early universe



The Super Massive Black Hole (SMBH) is difficult to explain. These enormous singularities are believed to be at the heart of each major galaxy (our Milky Way is), but their presence is sometimes ill-conceived. As far as we know, black holes arise when the huge stars collapse. But that explanation does not match all the evidence.

The theory of stellar collapse explains most of the black holes. In this theory, a star at least five times more massive than our Sun begins to run out of fuel near the end of our life. Since the external pressure of the star's nuclear fusion is what sustains it against internal gravity from its own mass, something has to be given when the fuel runs out.

The star was subjected to an explosion of hypnotics, then dropped to himself. The other hole is black. Astrophysicists believe that SMBs are starting this way, and are moving to their enormous size by essentially "feeding" other things. They come up in size and sit in the center of their gravity, like a spider that feeds in the middle of their net.

The problem with this explanation is that it takes a long time for it to happen.

The impression of this artist shows the environment of the super-massive black holes, typical of the one in the heart of many galaxies. The same black hole is surrounded by a brilliant acrylic disc of very hot, flammable material and, furthermore, a dusty torus. Often, there are guns of high-speed materials that are thrown out of the holes of black holes that can expand large distances into the universe. Image Assets: ESO / L. Calçada - ESO Website, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39626793
The impression of this artist shows the environment of the super-massive black holes, typical of the one in the heart of many galaxies. The same black hole is surrounded by a brilliant acrylic disc of very hot, flammable material and, furthermore, a dusty torus. Often, there are guns of high-speed materials that are thrown out of the holes of black holes that can expand large distances into the universe. Image Assets: ESO / L. Calçada – ESO Website, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39626793

There, in the universe, scientists were watching the SMBs that were ancient. In March this year, a group of astronomers announced the discovery of 83 SMBH, so ancient that they defied our understanding. In 2017, astronomers discovered a black hole of 800 million solar masses, which was fully formed only 690 million years after the Great Burst. They were created in the earlier days of the Universe, before it was time to grow into their supermassive forms.

Many of these SMBs are billions of times more massive than the Sun. They are on such high red shifts that they were formed in the first 800 million years after the Great Burst. But that's not enough time to explain the model of the star collapse. The question faced by astrophysicists is how did these black holes become so big in such a short time?

Two researchers at Western University in Ontario, Canada, think they have understood this. They have a new theory called "direct collapse" that explains these incredibly old SMBHs.

Their work was titled "The Massive Function of Super-Massive Black Holes in a Direct Collapse Scenario" and was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The authors are Shantanu Basu and Arpan Das. Basu is an acknowledged expert in the early stages of star-making and the evolution of the protoplanet disk. He is also a professor of astronomy at the West University. Das is also from the Western Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The SMBH in this image of the Subaru Telescope is 13.05 billion light years from Earth. These ancient SMBs have challenged our understanding of how black holes are formed. Image Credit: National Observatory of Astronomy in Japan (NAOJ).
The SMBH in this image of the Subaru Telescope is 13.05 billion light years from Earth. These ancient SMBs have challenged our understanding of how black holes are formed. Image Credit: National Observatory of Astronomy in Japan (NAOJ).

Their direct collapse theory says that the ancient super-massive black holes emerged very quickly in very short periods of time. Then suddenly they stopped growing. They have developed a new mathematical model that explains these rapidly formed black holes. They say that Eddington's boundary, which represents the balance between the stars of the outer radiation force and the internal gravitational force, plays a role.

In those black holes with a direct collapse, Eddington's boundary regulates massive growth, and researchers say that these ancient black holes may even exceed that limit for a small amount, in what they call super-Eddington's accretion. Then, due to the radiation produced by other stars and black holes, their production was interrupted.

"The superhuman black holes had only a brief period in which they could grow quickly and then, at some point, because of all the radiation in the universe that created other black holes and stars, their production stopped," Basu explains in a press release. "It's a direct collapse scenario."

"These are indirect evidence that black holes come from direct collapse, not from stellar remains," Basu said.

This new theory provides an effective explanation of what has been problematic for some time in astronomy. Basu believes that these new findings can be used with future observations to conclude the history of the formation of extremely massive black holes that exist in the very early days of our universe.

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