Early Black Holes May Have Grown in Fits and Spurts

A long-standing question in astrophysics is: how and when did supermassive black holes appear and grow in the early universe? New research using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) suggests that an answer to this question lies with the intermittent way giant black holes may consume material in the first … Read more

NASA telescopes find clues for how giant black holes formed so quickly

Using data from NASA’s Great Observatories, astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes. Researchers combined data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope to identify these possible black hole seeds. They discuss their findings in a paper that … Read more

NASA’s WISE Findings Poke Hole in Black Hole ‘Doughnut’ Theory

A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers re-examining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects. The unified theory of active, supermassive black holes, first developed in the late 1970s, was created to explain why black holes, though similar in nature, … Read more