Monster black holes lurking in nearby galaxies

Supermassive black holes (like those at the center of galaxies like ours) appear to start out with 1,000 to 100,000 solar masses. The majority of those lights (70 percent) are actually supermassive black holes - or rather, they're the bright X-ray emissions produced as matter is pulled into a black hole's event horizon, as black holes themselves don't emit any light.

A supermassive black hole and two giant galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412, located about two billion light years from Earth and each weighing about a million billion times the mass of the sun, collided, leading hot gas produced by one cluster to plough through the hot gas of the other cluster.

Multiple telescopes, including the Hubble, Spitzer, and Herschel space telescopes, along with the Keck telescopes and Very Large Telescope here on Earth, among others, have all observed the same field, so it's possible to map nearly every X-ray source to its counterparts at other wavelengths, such as infrared, radio, or visible light.

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The researchers also detected x-ray coming from massive galaxies up to 12. This means that both galaxies and their spacetime-distorting black holes are a safe distance from Earth.

What Vito and colleagues did was to cut out regions of the Chandra Deep Field South around 2,000+ distant galaxies (from a universe less than 1.8 billion years old) that were not detected in X-rays.

"It can be very hard to detect black holes in the early Universe because they are so far away and they only produce radiation if they're actively pulling in matter", Bin Luo, professor of astronomy and space science at Nanjing University, said in a news release. In fact, this is the inmost X-ray image ever obtained by NASA in history.

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Of course, there's nothing magical about the Chandra observatory - we still can not see the singularity at the center of a black holes. "We're looking back to times when black holes were in crucial phases of growth, similar to hungry infants and adolescents". These seeds might have formed from the direct collapse of massive clouds of gas in the early universe. It was presented at the 229 American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas, this week.

It would allow scientists to understand how black holes grew approximately one to two billion years after the Big Bang. More observations are needed to nail down the specifics on black hole growth.

A new, deep X-ray image reveals vast numbers of ancient supermassive black holes. And the images captured of this event solved a longstanding mystery among astronomers.

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