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Groundbreaking Research

Zoltan Haiman (Astronomy)

Zoltan Haiman (Astronomy)

How black holes shaped a universe before galaxies

Black holes one billion times as massive as the sun were already present in the universe when it was less than one billion years old. The growth of these black holes is believed to be self-limiting because infalling gas makes them more massive but also produces a radiation that prevents gas from falling in faster than a certain theoretical maximum rate. But the infall rate must exceed this theoretical maximum, otherwise the universe could not have those massive one-billion-year-old black holes.