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Supermassive black holes formed in rare regions of gas behind early quasars: study

Supermassive black holes formed in rare regions of gas behind early quasars: study

Admin | Post Saturday, 9 July 2022 - 09:40 AM | 512

Scientists have managed to determine one of the greatest mysteries of recent astrophysics ? the formation of quasars in the early universe. These cosmic features were first spotted in 2003, and soon after, more than 200 quasars were identified by supermassive black holes. These 200 quasars formed during the first billion years after the formation of the universe. Scientists had never been able to conclusively determine how these quasars formed so early in the universe. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that these primordial quasars naturally formed in the chaotic conditions of rare gas reservoirs in the early universe.

?The first supermassive black holes were simply a natural consequence of the formation of structures in cold dark matter cosmologies ? children of the cosmic web,? said Dr Daniel Whalen from the University of Portsmouth.

Dr. Whalen led the team of researchers behind the study that determined the origin of quasars. The study was published July 6 in the Nature.

The researchers used a supercomputer model to run simulations of where these quasars might form. Scientists have found that quasars managed to form when supermassive black holes, with a mass at least 1,00,000 times that of our Sun, in areas of space where powerful streams of cold gases have were found in high concentrations. These gas streams have only been found in about a dozen regions across a region of space a billion light-years in diameter.

?Therefore, the only primordial clouds capable of forming a quasar just after cosmic dawn ? when the first stars in the universe formed ? also created their own massive seeds. This simple and beautiful result not only explains the origin of the first quasars, but also their demography ? their numbers in the early days,? said Dr Whalen.

Quasars are among the most powerful and energetic objects in the universe. Found at the center of distant galaxies, quasars are powered by supermassive black holes ranging in mass from millions to tens of billions of solar masses. These black holes accumulate nearby matter that heats up due to friction and pressure as they fall towards the black hole. The heat and electromagnetic energy thus created are then released by the quasars in the form of electromagnetic energy.