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|The massive black hole shown at left in this drawing is able to rapidly grow as intense radiation from a galaxy nearby shuts down star-formation in its host galaxy. Credit: John Wise, Georgia Tech|
“The collapse of the galaxy and the formation of a million-solar-mass black hole takes 100,000 years a blip in cosmic time,” says study co-author Zoltan Haiman, an astronomy professor at Columbia University. “A few hundred-million years later, it has grown into a billion-solar-mass supermassive black hole. This is much faster than we expected.”
“The nearby galaxy can’t be too close, or too far away, and like the Goldilocks principle, too hot or too cold,” said study coauthor John Wise, an associate astrophysics professor at Georgia Tech.
“Understanding how super-massive black holes form tells us how galaxies, including our own, form and evolve, and ultimately, tells us more about the universe in which we live,” said Regan, at Dublin City University.