Sunday, October 19, 2008

Black Holes Get In Early

Artist's conception of galaxy 4C60.07

The Submillimeter Array atop Mauna Kea consists of eight radio dishes observing as one. The dishes can be moved among 24 different locations to give resolution as great as a single 500 meter dish. It was built as a partnership between the Harvard-Smithsonian zObservatory and the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan. New observations here suggest that Supermassive Black Holes were common in early galaxies.

Two such galaxies were observed in a collision 12 billion years in the past. Galaxy 4C60.07 was first observed because of its bright radio emission. The radio signal is one sign of a rapidly spinning Black Hole. The latest observations reveal a previously unknown companion galaxy preventing 4C60.07 from forming stars. At a time when the Universe was less than 2 billion years old, both galaxies contained Supermassive Black Holes. CfA Press Release

Every galaxy ever found contains at its centre an enormous Black Hole. Even The Farthest Galaxies, formed barely 700 million years after the Big Bang contains a singularity. This is far too early for the Black Hole to have formed from stellar collapse. These Black Holes are likely primordial, formed from quantum fluctuations at a time near the Big Bang. Rapid expansion of the Universe grew the Black Holes to their enormous size, which seeded the formation of galaxies. Once primordial Black Holes were thought to be tiny. Their size would be limited by a "horizon distance" related to the speed of light. Discovery of primordial Supermassive Black Holes is one more sign of "c change" in physics.

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Blogger Kea said...

Too much news to keep up with! It would be nice to spend time at the observatory there too.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I always knew Star Trek V was really bad science fiction ...

McCoy: What does God (strike that)

McCoy: What does a black hole need with a starship?

An appetizer?

4:25 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

There is far too much news to keep up with! This is a very exciting time.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit of a non sequitur, have you heard about the eSMA ?

It combines SMA, CSO and our own JCMT, and has the combined resolution of a 782 meter dish.

3:31 PM  
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