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Space Science

Black Holes May Mature Early In Galaxy Evolution 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-grow-up-so-fast dept.
masterwit writes "From Scientific American: 'An accidental find in a star-forming dwarf galaxy shows that black holes may mature early in galaxy evolution.' Also, 'if giant black holes in star-forming dwarf galaxies prove to be common — that is, if Henize 2-10 is not an outlier but a representative of a larger population — they may have much to tell about the formation of primordial black holes and galaxies in the early universe.'"
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Black Holes May Mature Early In Galaxy Evolution

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  • by Seumas (6865) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @09:14PM (#34819232)

    I think any red-blooded male can confirm that this is obvious common knowledge. They keep maturing earlier and earlier. Hell, have you seen them lately? You think they're all 18 or even 22 millennia until that awkward moment when you make your move and find out they're really only 15 millenia. I say it's the chemicals they're subjected to in the modern cosmos.

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @09:22PM (#34819298) Journal

    if giant black holes in star-forming dwarf galaxies prove to be common

    The first time astronomers found a supermassive blackhole at the center of a galaxy they decided to check the results against a typical quiet galaxy and found the same thing. The observations continued and it became clear pretty quickly that blackholes in galaxies were common. So common in fact, that I am unaware of a galaxy that didn't have one. The mass of the supermassive blackhole strongly correlates with the mass of the galaxy. A typical galaxy is about 200 times the mass of its supermassive blackhole which suggests a link between supermassive blackhole formation and the creation of galaxies. Whether they act as seeds for a galaxy to form in the first place or are the inevitable result isn't yet clear.

      • by syousef (465911) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @10:20PM (#34819676) Journal

        No. Galaxies aren't just black hole accretion disks.

        The influence of the black hole is strong only at the very center tiny fraction of a percent (by either volume or mass) of the galaxy. So much so that we only found them a few decades ago.

        You may as well ask if the solar system were just your own personal accretion disk.

        • I'll point out that humans thought the solar system WAS our own personal accretion disk until only the last few hundred years. For the lulz.

          • by khallow (566160)

            I'll point out that humans thought the universe WAS our own personal accretion disk until only the last few hundred years. For the lulz.

            FIFY.

        • by Rob Riggs (6418)

          The influence of the black hole is strong only at the very center tiny fraction of a percent (by either volume or mass) of the galaxy.

          In other words, the black hole has direct influence over a small fraction of the galaxy.

          You may as well ask if the solar system were just your own personal accretion disk.

          Are you sure it's not like asking the soldiers on the battlefield if they report the the Field Marshall?

          • by syousef (465911)

            The influence of the black hole is strong only at the very center tiny fraction of a percent (by either volume or mass) of the galaxy.

            In other words, the black hole has direct influence over a small fraction of the galaxy.

            You may as well ask if the solar system were just your own personal accretion disk.

            Are you sure it's not like asking the soldiers on the battlefield if they report the the Field Marshall?

            You're missing the point entirely. Influence decreases as the square of the distance. There is no cascade effect here. In this case the field marshal and the soliders are 10000 light years apart.

    • by cosm (1072588) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3msoceht>> on Sunday January 09, 2011 @09:54PM (#34819532)
      Exactly, its a chicken and egg problem, and this finding just provides further evidence that the order of Star/Galaxy/Black Hole creation is still up in the air, seeing as they are finding younger/smaller galaxies with black holes, which pushes the lower boundary for black hole formation even further. It is still a chicken and egg problem, though (from what I gather).
      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Also - there could be a common cause for both galaxy and black hole - one need not cause the other.

        Perhaps for some reason dark matter is not evenly distributed in space, and that causes normal matter to coalesce in some regions. At the very center of the coalescence this is sufficient to form a black hole, and everywhere else a galaxy forms. So, then both the black hole and the galaxy are just the effects of a prior cause.

        Some of the string theory scenarios suggest that gravity could traverse between uni

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, 2011 @09:34PM (#34819402)

    Something to keep in mind next time the Intergalactic Real Estate agent tweets about "PRISTINE oceanfront property in young galaxy, fun neighborhood!"

  • big black holes = gravitational mass? = maybe account for missing mass we thought of as 'dark matter'? Just curious... this is awesome [if it's not outlier of course].
    • by amRadioHed (463061) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @11:11PM (#34819918)

      Black holes are not nearly enough to account for the missing mass from dark matter. Remember dark matter isn't a missing small percentage of what we can see, it makes up 4 times more matter then what can be observed.

      • by tkprit (8581)
        right, ...I was thinking the grav. energy of these super-giant black holes (*if* they're indeed common) could account for [at least some of] the enormous missing mass.
        • by Vekseid (1528215)

          The black hole at the center of our galaxy is four million solar masses. In comparison, the dark matter halo of our galaxy is on the order of a trillion solar masses.

        • Plus, a black hole doesn't have a greater mass than the sun it spawned from (quite the contrary, as it would appear some mass is lost during the "conversion"). It's just a whole lot denser (same mass but lesser size == greater density).

  • The first stars were gigantic, anything that size supernova's very quickly and becomes a blackhole. So more blackholes would have been produced in the early universe in comparison to now...am I missing something that is new science here?
  • Since black holes occur so early in the evolution of galaxies, I wondering if such a concentration of mass could produce fields were are currently aware of, like the dark energy that holds galaxies together.

    Chicken or Egg, any one?

  • What?

    I thought this was the expected result.
    Throw a bunch of matter about, and gravity will make quick work of it. The areas of slightly higher concentration will quickly converge. Only the bits that are relatively balanced between several large points of gravity will avoid assimilation for a while.

    Essentially, given a nearly uniform distribution of matter, the more massive an object is, the older it tends to be.

    It makes sense that black holes, as a class of objects, tend to be older than stars, planetoid

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