While the results are intriguing, follow-up study will be necessary to fully flesh them out, outside researchers said.
“Our findings suggest the original seeds of supermassive black holes are quite massive themselves,” Satyapal said.
It’s also possible that supermassive black holes grow primarily by gobbling up gas and dust, getting bigger relatively sedately along with their host galaxies, researchers said.
The finding goes against one popular theory of supermassive black hole evolution, suggesting that galaxy mergers aren’t necessary to create these behemoths, which can harbor billions of times more mass than the sun. [The Strangest Black Holes in the Universe]
WISE launched to Earth orbit in December 2009 on a 10-month mission to scan the entire sky in infrared light. It was shut down in February 2011, then reactivated in September 2013 with a new mission and a new name. Now called NEOWISE, the spacecraft is hunting for potentially dangerous asteroids, some of which could be promising targets for human exploration.
Dwarf galaxies have changed relatively little over time, and they resemble the types of galaxies that existed when the universe was young. So they’re a good place to look for nascent supermassive black holes, researchers said.
You can only imagine what the final results would be and you’d be right. Simply amazing.
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