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January 21 2013

Study Reveals How Black Holes Grow


Researchers have believed that supermassive black holes increased their mass in step with the growth of their host galaxy. However, new observations reveal a dramatically different behavior.

“Black holes have been growing much faster than we thought,” said Prof Alister Graham of Swinburne University of Technology, lead author of a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal (arXiv.org version).

Within galaxies, there is a competition of sorts for the available gas; for either the formation of new stars or feeding the central black hole.

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