When the black hole was born: Astronomers identify the epoch of the first fast growth of black holes

Dec 27, 2010
When the black hole was born: Astronomers identify the epoch of the first fast growth of black holes

Most galaxies in the universe, including our own Milky Way, harbor super-massive black holes varying in mass from about one million to about 10 billion times the mass of our sun. To find them, astronomers look for the enormous amount of radiation emitted by gas which falls into such objects during the times that the black holes are "active," i.e., accreting matter. This gas "infall" into massive black holes is believed to be the means by which black holes grow.

Now a team of astronomers from Tel Aviv University, including Prof. Hagai Hetzer and his research student Benny Trakhtenbrot, have determined that the era of first fast growth of the most massive occurred when the was only about 1.2 billion years old ― not two to four billion years old, as was previously believed ― and they're growing at a very fast rate.

The results will be reported in a new paper soon to appear in Astrophysical Journal.

The oldest are growing the fastest

The new research is based on observations with some of the largest ground-based telescopes in the world: "Gemini North" on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and the "Very Large Telescope Array" on Cerro Paranal in Chile. The data obtained with the advanced instrumentation on these telescopes show that the black holes that were active when the universe was 1.2 billion years old are about ten times smaller than the most massive black holes that are seen at later times. However, they are growing much faster. The measured rate of growth allowed the researchers to estimate what happened to these objects at much earlier as well as much later times.

The team found that the very first black holes, those that started the entire growth process when the universe was only several hundred million years old, had masses of only 100-1000 times the mass of the . Such black holes may be related to the very first stars in the universe. They also found that the subsequent growth period of the observed sources, after the first 1.2 billion years, lasted only 100-200 million years.

The new study is the culmination of a seven year-long project at Tel Aviv University designed to follow the evolution of the most massive black holes and compare them with the evolution of the in which such objects reside.

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antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (11) Dec 27, 2010
"about one million to about 10 billion times the size of our sun."

No. It's one million to about 10 billion times the MASS of our sun. The size of black holes (as defined by the event horizon) is relatively small.
Husky
not rated yet Dec 27, 2010
1.2 billion years fits nice with postulated population III hypergiants
Telekinetic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 27, 2010
The editor repeated a paragraph- no wonder I had a
feeling of deja-vu sweep over me.
omatumr
1 / 5 (9) Dec 28, 2010
There are no black holes.

Neutron repulsion prevents their formation. Neutron repulsion is observed in experimental data of all nuclei with two or more neutrons.

Neutron repulsion generates an increase in rest mass (E = mc2).

References:

"Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy", Journal of Fusion Energy 19, 93-98 (2001).

"Neutron repulsion confirmed as energy source", Journal of Fusion Energy 20, 197-201 (2003).

"Scientific Genesis 3. Neutron Repulsion" (video)

Oliver K. Manuel
baudrunner
1 / 5 (10) Dec 28, 2010
This ongoing discussion of black holes is so totally hilarious. What brilliant minds these people must have to conjure up all those fantastic rationalizations.

Black holes are objects travelling at or very near, possibly multiples of, the speed of light. From our frame of reference, they will remain fairly static over time, but inside one of those objects, of course, time almost stands still, and they exhibit properties of extreme mass - naturally.

Black holes seem to "grow" because they are accelerating. That's how you get places fast.

Yes, they are interstellar and intergalactic space craft. Life is the rule rather than the exception in the Universe, and when you think about it, that is no more fantastic than believing what the scientists are telling us. Remember, they used math to invent string theory, completely and utterly unprovable.

nevermark
4.7 / 5 (13) Dec 28, 2010
I like this site and most commenters seem to have either a good knowledge of physics or a balanced sense of curiosity vs. what they know and don't know.

But it seems articles on cosmology or physics pull in commenters who are either trolls or people with more opinions than understanding, and a tragic lack of awareness of the difference. Either type lowers the quality of discussion.

@omatumr,

Neutron repulsion, or electromagnetic repulsion of electrons and protons, or any other kind of repulsion doesn't negate the effect of extremely large masses (black holes) warping space to the point matter does not escape in any simple way (event horizons). For that matter, neutron repulsion in an accelerator doesn't even guarantee particles escape from Earth's gravitational well, so not sure why this would even be surprising.
nevermark
4.6 / 5 (10) Dec 28, 2010
@baudrunner,

"When you think about it, [space craft are] no more fantastic than believing in [black holes]"

Not if you are able to think clearly. The numerous forms of evidence for block holes vs. space craft is why one is more believable than the other. The question is not whether something is "fantastic" or not, or whether it is "believable" or not, it is whether a conjecture makes testable predictions, which the black hole hypothesis has done innumerable times. The fact that black holes were predicted themselves from highly tested theories, before their effects were ever seen, is also a factor in their favor.
OmRa
1 / 5 (3) Dec 28, 2010
Black hole exist because of gravity.
Can black hole be the size of atom and have massive
to infinite gravity? Mass get larger but volume diminishes.
What is the purpose of a black hole?
It cannot produce on its own like a star.
It can't be the cause for galactic spin.
Nobody knows.
Telekinetic
1.4 / 5 (5) Dec 28, 2010


But it seems articles on cosmology or physics pull in commenters who are either trolls or people with more opinions than understanding, and a tragic lack of awareness of the difference. Either type lowers the quality of discussion.

@nevermark
I hardly think the lack of awareness of the difference between opinion and understanding is "tragic". Much of cosmological research is opinion, especially when one group's findings are
hotly contested by another's. Any monkey can regurgitate "facts" learned by rote in a classroom or textbook, but I like ideas that challenge sacrosanct postulations. Everyday, a new point of view emerges about the cosmos, and despite the sophisticated instrumentation used, it's still fascinating opinion, subject to refutation.

DamienS
5 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2010
I hardly think the lack of awareness of the difference between opinion and understanding is "tragic". Much of cosmological research is opinion, especially when one group's findings are hotly contested by another's

I think that is a perfect example of the gist of nevermark's comment.
Tuxford
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2010
Massive core stars (not entirely black, and not holes) earlier than thought? And they are growing in time? Yes, because they are nucleating new matter from within. But, admittedly, I don't follow why they claim they stopped growing after only 200 million years.
Telekinetic
1 / 5 (1) Dec 29, 2010
@DamienS:
I wouldn't be so smug if I were you- to any scientist of the caliber in this article, you'd
be considered a nincompoop.
DamienS
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2010
@DamienS:
I wouldn't be so smug if I were you- to any scientist of the caliber in this article, you'd be considered a nincompoop.

You might well be right.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2010
nevermark: I am intuitive enough to read into your response and determine that you are intelligent enough that you are above totally rejecting the idea that black holes are spacecraft. Observation cannot disprove it, for they exhibit all the same characteristics. As for their prediction before the evidence of their existence, curiously enough, we only learned of that after their discovery. We now know that:
1. black holes are moving (naturally)
2. some black holes are "growing" (accelerating)
3. some black holes are "shrinking" (decelerating)
4. they subject their environment to extreme gravitational influences (relativity)
5. some black holes emit flares of x-rays (exhaust plumes of atomic engines)
6. theory can explain everything but doesn't prove anything
Terrible_Bohr
5 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2010
This ongoing discussion of black holes is so totally hilarious. What brilliant minds these people must have to conjure up all those fantastic rationalizations.

More hilarious then the trails of little green men leaving our galaxy?

Yes, they are interstellar and intergalactic space craft.

True: we can't prove they aren't. So I guess that means they most certainly are spacecraft?

Life is the rule rather than the exception in the Universe, and when you think about it, that is no more fantastic than believing what the scientists are telling us.

Life that builds spacecraft that violate physics as we know it is the rule? Life that likes to fly said spacecraft predominantly through the center of galaxies is the rule?

Continued...
Terrible_Bohr
5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2010
Remember, they used math to invent string theory, completely and utterly unprovable.


Just like they did with Quantum Mechanics - the theory that's allowing your computer to operate.

A for their prediction before evidence of their existence, curiously enough, we only learned of that after their discovery.

This just makes no sense whatsoever. The concept of a 'Dark Star' was a theory that was largely forgotten because it seemed it could not be tested. The fact that it became a familair idea in science again after observational evidence of it was found only makes sense. We wouldn't have cared to revive a mathematical oddity if it failed to predict anything; it wouldn't be worth remembering.

Furthermore, it works both ways: As for predicition of signs of spacecraft breaking the light barrier being predicted, we only predicted them after we saw them.

We know that...


Yup, that's what we see. Go back up and read why it's not spacecraft.

Ethelred
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 01, 2011
black holes are moving (naturally
No evidence to support that.
some black holes are "growing" (accelerating
No. But some ARE accreting matter which how they grow
some black holes are "shrinking" (decelerating
Give even ONE example
they subject their environment to extreme gravitational influences (relativity
Only if you have them rotating around another massive object. Mostly they just sit there
some black holes emit flares of x-rays (exhaust plumes of atomic engines
If that was true they would not send out TWO opposing flares
theory can explain everything but doesn't prove anything
Making up crap that disagrees with evidence doesn't prove your ideas true. Theories are INTENDED to explain, proof comes from evidence.

So that is TWO crank ideas you are posting lately. Me, I'm Counting.

Yes I did just read the new Culture novel by Ian M. Banks. My favorite character was the picket ship Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints.

Ethelred
omatumr
1 / 5 (8) Jan 01, 2011
The Sun and other stars are optical illusions.

What we see are widely separated ions and atoms of waste products (91% H and 9% He) that emit light (Photons: hence Photosphere) as they are driven away from the energetic neutron star at the core.

The Sun is NOT the photosphere.

The waste products leave the photosphere and continue moving outward in the heliosphere that engulfs the Earth and all of the planets.

As the dense, energetic neutron star is around jerked by gravitational interactions with planets, it shifts around inside the highly visible cloud of waste products that we call the photosphere.

That produces the Sun cycles.

Best wishes for 2011,
Oliver
omatumr
1 / 5 (7) Jan 01, 2011
Most of the Sun's mass is in its neutron core, about the size of Chicago.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (5) Jan 03, 2011
omatumr, you are always saying these things, but everytime I ask for sources for your information, you always link to stuff you yourself wrote. Please link some sources that are credible, peer reviewed, and not you.

Thanks
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 04, 2011
Don't hold your breath. He never answers my questions either except by posting the same stuff I read a long time ago.

Sometimes he tries to bully people instead of posting the same thing again. I don't think that really counts as an answer.

For instance he is not going to explain how the Sun doesn't weigh enough to have a neutron star in it. Minimum weight is higher than one solar mass.

He isn't going to give any evidence that bound neutrons have ever decayed either.

Ethelred