Forecasting the hunt for the first supermassive black holes

Forecasting the hunt for the first supermassive black holes
Computer simulation of the formation of a proto-cluster of galaxies. Supermassive black holes may have had an important role in the formation of these structures in the early Universe. Credit: TNG Collaboration.

It is believed that the formation and growth of most galaxies across the history of the universe has been fueled by supermassive black holes growing together with their host galaxy as they collect matter to attain millions of solar masses. Chasing the early stages of these extreme objects is among the missions of future powerful telescopes.

A new and comprehensive estimate has now been presented in a study led by researchers of the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA). The study predicts the number of very young galaxies with active at their cores that should have existed when the universe was less than 7 percent of its current age, and which are within the reach of future X-ray and already in the making. It was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and presented this week at the SPARCS IX meeting, where the science and technology of the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope are being discussed.

The results may guide the most effective observing plans for SKA and for the ESA's Athena X-ray space observatory. Both observatories will be used to peer deep into the same period in the history of the universe explored by this study.

"Since there is a long wait until Athena and SKA will be available for science, there is time to modify their goals for the best," says Stergios Amarantidis, of IA and Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL), the first author of the paper. "For example, a past Athena white paper mentions a prediction of one order of magnitude fewer supermassive black holes than we found. They will use their result to make a preliminary plan for future surveys. Our results can now be used to improve the strategy and prepare more effective surveys."

The authors extend previous work done by others in the visible and X-ray part of the spectrum by adding predictions for radio and X-ray observations, and for the more distant universe. In this context, X-rays are produced by very hot matter spiraling extremely fast as it falls onto the black hole, and signal galaxies with their centres facing the Earth. Radio emissions, on the other hand, frequently signal galaxies viewed edge-on, and are produced by powerful jets of particles ejected away from the black hole's vicinity and interacting with the gas outside the galaxy.

Using eight computational models developed by other teams and applying current knowledge about galaxy evolution, the researchers predicted that in an area of the sky the size of the full moon, Athena will be able to spot X-ray activity from around 2,500 supermassive black holes at the cores of very young galaxies in the early universe. The results suggest that will be less abundant at these early ages, but powerful telescopes such as SKA will still be able to identify tens of these sources in the same area of the sky.

The computational models were developed and fine-tuned using what observations of the environments where galaxies evolve in the nearby universe. One of the models' limitations, evidenced by this study, is their poor capability to predict the few, highly luminous, active galactic centres already known to exist in remote epochs. Increasing the size of the simulations and the computational resources is necessary to overcome this limitation and to properly understand how the first galaxies and supermassive black holes appeared and evolved.

"This work puts into evidence the predictive powers of current state-of-the-art models of galaxy formation, and will guide us to make better use of the powerful telescopes being built," says José Afonso, of IA and FCUL, and second author of the paper. "At the same time, it also shows where our understanding of the first active still needs to be improved, something that will require all of our observational efforts during the coming years. The early is still largely hard to explain."


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More information: Stergios Amarantidis et al. The first supermassive black holes: indications from models for future observations, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz551 , https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.07982
Provided by Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço
Citation: Forecasting the hunt for the first supermassive black holes (2019, May 13) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-supermassive-black-holes.html
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May 13, 2019
"X-rays are produced by very hot matter spiraling extremely fast as it falls onto the black hole, and signal galaxies with their centres facing the Earth. Radio emissions, on the other hand, frequently signal galaxies viewed edge-on, and are produced by powerful jets of particles ejected away from the black hole's vicinity and interacting with the gas outside the galaxy."

........so why then didn't the so-called telescope called Event Horizon find a BH at SgrA* if they're they're so sure this is how BHs can be found?

They focused more than half the world's available radio telescope antennae on the center of our galaxy & found a big fat goose egg zero for ALL the signatures as described in the above paragraph at SgrA*.

The answer is simply found in the fact it is an Immutable Law of Gravitational Physics, that infinite gravity can NEVER exist on a FINITE MASS because that would require the presence of INFINITE MASS & there is no such thing.

May 13, 2019
^^^^Scientifically illiterate gibberish and lies. They explained why the EHT will struggle to see the EH of Sgr A*. And there is plenty of other evidence for the SMBH at the galactic centre, you ignorant clown. And, in case you missed it, thicko, they saw the EH of M87. You lost. Loser. Get over it, you intellectual pygmy. Go find an astrology forum to waste your idiotic misunderstandings and lies on.

RNP
May 13, 2019
You have to admire Benni's consistency though.
His post above is exactly 100% wrong on all counts.
That takes some doing!

May 13, 2019
Immutable Law of Gravitational Physics, that infinite gravity can NEVER exist on a FINITE MASS because that would require the presence of INFINITE MASS & there is no such thing.


Oh wow, even after direct observation of a BH, he's still spewing his regular nonsense.

Did you ever figure out the difference between mass and volume, Benni?

May 13, 2019
Immutable Law of Gravitational Physics, that infinite gravity can NEVER exist on a FINITE MASS because that would require the presence of INFINITE MASS & there is no such thing.


Oh wow, even after direct observation of a BH, he's still spewing his regular nonsense.
......"direct observation"? It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that? Benni has just given you another physics lesson in the EM Energy Spectrum.

May 13, 2019
"direct observation"? It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that? Benni has just given you another physics lesson in the EM Energy Spectrum.
We don't observe   a n y  'wavelengths'. We observe photons, to be perfectly strict about it. (We could get stricter still, but not to be too pedantic. Science has its own semantic range for the term 'observe':
______________
Evidence for strong n–α correlations in the t+t reaction proved ...
core ac uk/download/pdf/82521524 pdf
Matsuzakia 2003
"In summary, we observed the neutrons associated with the t–t µCF reactions..."

May 13, 2019
In search of black holes and dark matter astrophysicists are relying on indirect observations. It would seem that the measurement of the event horizon of a black hole directly would be a direct evidence. However, by the nature of a horizon, any real measurement of the event horizon will be indirect. The Event Horizon Telescope will get picture of the silhouette of the Sgr A* which is due to optical effects of spacetime outside of the event horizon. The result will be determined by the simple quality of the resulting image that does not depend on the properties of the spacetime within the image. So, it will be also indirect and an existence of BH is a hypothesis.
https://www.acade...ilky_Way

May 13, 2019
"direct observation"? It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that? Benni has just given you another physics lesson in the EM Energy Spectrum.


We don't observe   a n y  'wavelengths'. We observe photons
......only if they're in the visible wavelength of the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum. Do you know what "photons" are? I'll just bet you think a photon is a PARTICLE of light, right?

"In summary, we observed the neutrons associated with the t–t µCF reactions..."
.......now you can "observe" neutrons in a galaxy 55 million light years away? Where did you get a microscope that can see things that small? And how did you get to the galaxy to "observe" those neutrons in action performing all these somersaulting gymnastics?

May 14, 2019
@Benni, the reason people insist you're a numbskull and a clueless, scientifically illiterate windbag is because you are precisely that. It's not because they don't like you: it's because you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Your every pronouncement clearly shows the minuscule limits of your understanding of matters scientific - you just keep getting everything wrong, not right.

Your oft-claimed six years of "higher education" has achieved virtually nothing in actually getting you to move forward from the level of 7th- or 8th-grade sci-unce which is where your intellectual capabilities hit their high-tide mark and left you floundering.

And that's where you stand - truly incapable of understanding the topics in this and other phys.org articles, but steadfastly arguing the case that your 8th-grade stuff beats PhD-level stuff. You're simply wrong: you're bashing your oh-so soft head repeatedly against a solid wall of rock. Can you learn anything from this? I doubt it...

May 14, 2019
......"direct observation"? It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that? Benni has just given you another physics lesson in the EM Energy Spectrum.


Benni is an uneducated cretin, is what you meant to say.

May 14, 2019
If Benni is a masochist, who gets OFF on being humiliated and humiliating himself, that would explain a lot. Another possibility might be that he simply has a very odd sense of humor.

May 14, 2019
Well, my satellite TV seems to get signals from space pretty well. Hi definition ones, even.

Looks like the decoders for microwave signals from space work pretty well from over here, sport.

Gonna tell me that's not "direct observation... of radio frequency wavelengths?"

Just askin'.

May 14, 2019
It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that?


We don't observe   a n y  'wavelengths'. We observe photons
......only if they're in the visible wavelength of the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum. I'll just bet you think a photon is a PARTICLE of light, right?

"In summary, we observed the neutrons associated with the t–t µCF reactions..."
.......now you can "observe" neutrons in a galaxy 55 million light years away? Where did you get a microscope that can see things that small? And how did you get to the galaxy to "observe" those neutrons in action performing all these somersaulting gymnastics?
A photon is a quantum of EM, a 'wavicle', as it has been commonly dubbed. You lost half that bet.
And I can cite a paper that describes not only the 'observation' of X-rays, but the   'd i r e c t   observation'.
You can argue with me, but not scientists. 'observe' has wider scope than you thought.

May 14, 2019
......"direct observation"? It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that? Benni has just given you another physics lesson in the EM Energy Spectrum.
Scientists can 'directly observe' all kinds of stuff:
"...between variability in the   d i r e c t l y  o b s e r v e d  X - r a y s   from the corona and those reflected from the accretion disc add a further dimension to the study of accreting black holes..."
Understanding X-ray Reflection as a Probe of Accreting Black Holes
Wilkins, Dan
American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #223, id.406.03
adsabs harvard edu/abs/2014AAS...22340603W

May 14, 2019
It's impossible to directly observe radio frequency wavelengths, or didn't you know that?


Ouch, I see you don't understand what the word observation means. Master this first, and then we will move on to more complicated words like frequency and wavelength. After that, we can start working on the difference between mass and volume, because I suspect you're still struggling with that concept as well. Baby steps Benni boy.

May 15, 2019
"In summary, we observed the neutrons associated with the t–t µCF reactions..."
.......now you can "observe" neutrons in a galaxy 55 million light years away?
Typical of Benni, not to be able to understand implicitly that this mention of the observation of neutrons quoted by @danR, had nothing to do with the context of the observation of BH's, but was rather intended as an example of how the word "observation" as used in science has a much wider meaning than just "we opened our eyes and saw some stuff."

In science, Benni, observation refers to the measurement of phenomena by instruments specifically designed to make such measurements. And please - get over this EM and ISL nonsense - those here who are actually trained in science understand these topics to a far greater degree than you - they just don't brag like a snotty-nosed little kid about their knowledge. Which is what you do. Just sayin'...

May 15, 2019
You all criticize and insult Benni without addressing the root of his factual confusion. Benni rests his inaccurate conclusions on the discrepancy over why we cannot observe Sagittarius A* with the same granularity claimed for much further supermassive black holes.

We can't see all supermassive black holes, only those with stuff falling into them, and then only those angled just right from our perspective. There just happen to be a lot of galaxies with supermassive black holes out there to observe by chance. Ours appears not to be so active right now. Hence, not so much accretion drama to behold at Sagittarius A*.

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