First Black Holes Kept to a Strict Diet, Study Shows
A new supercomputer simulation designed to track the fate of the universe's first black holes finds that, counter to expectations, they couldn't efficiently gorge themselves on nearby gas. The findings have implications for understanding the formation of galaxies and of the giant black holes that reside in their centers.
This frame from the simulation shows the X-rays produced by a black hole (white) and its effects on nearby gas (blue). This scene occurs 400 million years after the universe formed. The black hole, born from a star's collapse 200 million years ago, has grown by less than one percent -- about the mass of our sun -- since. Credit: KIPAC/SLAC/M. Alvarez, T. Abel and J. Wise