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Black holes discovered in earliest galaxies

Posted on Thursday, June 16 2011 @ 20:11:17 CEST by

Astronomers announce the first observations of black holes in the early Universe, a discovery that supports the idea that black holes and galaxies have coevolved, starting very early in the Universe's history. More details at ARS Technica.
Quasars form at very large black holes, and are the most luminous objects in the Universe. They have been found in a number of these early galaxies, and some have wondered if quasars may have formed initially in some galaxies, but given way to a second wave of smaller black holes in others. The new observations essentially refute the hypothesis that one preceded the other.

To obtain the observations, the team had to find a way to pick out the extremely faint X-ray signals that would indicate the presence of black holes. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, they zeroed in on the locations of galaxies with large red shifts, meaning they were looking at the early Universe.



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