Home > Astronomy, Black Holes, General Astronomy > Giant Black Holes Lurking In Survey Data

Giant Black Holes Lurking In Survey Data


Infrared colour image of ULASJ1234+0907 located 11 billion light years from Earth and one of the reddest objects in the sky. Credit: image created using data from UKIDSS and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observator

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have used cutting-edge infrared surveys of the sky to discover a new population of enormous, rapidly growing supermassive black holes in the early Universe. The black holes were previously undetected because they sit cocooned within thick layers of dust. The new study has shown however that they are emitting vast amounts of radiation through violent interactions with their host galaxies. The team publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The most extreme object in the study is a supermassive black hole called ULASJ1234+0907. This object, located in the direction of the constellation of Virgo, is so far away that the light from it has taken 11 billion years to reach us, so we see it as it appeared in the early universe. The monster black hole has more than 10 billion times the mass of the Sun and 10,000 times the mass of the supermassive black hole in our own Milky Way, making it one of the most massive black holes ever seen.

Full Story: http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/219-news-2012/2176-new-surveys-peer-through-dust-to-reveal-giant-supermassive-black-holes

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