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Super-Massive Black Holes (SMBH) are hard to explain. These gargantuan singularities are thought to be at the center of every large galaxy (our Milky Way has one) but their presence there sometimes defies easy explanation. As far as we know, black holes form when giant stars collapse. But that explanation doesn’t fit all the evidence.
The stellar-collapse theory does a good job of explaining most black holes. In that theory, a star at least five times more massive than our Sun begins to run out of fuel near the end of its life. Since the outward pressure of a star’s nuclear fusion is what supports it against the inward gravity from its own mass, something has to give when the fuel runs out.
Star - Explosion - Hole - Astrophysicists - SMBHs
The star undergoes a hypernova explosion, then collapses in on itself. What’s left is a black hole. Astrophysicists think that SMBHs start out this way, and grow into their enormous sizes by essentially ‘feeding’ on other matter. They swell in size, and sit in the center of their gravity kind of like a spider fattening up in the middle of its web.
The problem with that explanation is that it takes a long time to happen.
Universe - Scientists - SMBHs - March - Year
Out there in the Universe, scientists have observed SMBHs that are ancient. In March of this year a group of astronomers announced the discovery of 83 SMBHs that are so ancient they defied our understanding. In 2017 astronomers discovered an 800 million solar mass black hole that was fully formed only 690 million years after the Big Bang. They came into existence in the earlier days of the Universe, before there was time to grow into their super-massive forms.
Many of these SMBHs are billions of times more massive than the Sun. They’re at such high red-shifts, that they must have been formed in the first...
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