Weight limits for biggest black holes confirmed
The very largest black holes reach a certain point and then grow no more. Thats according to the best survey to date of black holes made with NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory. Scientists also discovered previously hidden black holes well below their weight limit. These new results corroborate recent theoretical work about how black holes and galaxies grow. The biggest black holes, those with at least 100 million times the mass of the sun, ate voraciously during the early universe. Nearly all of them ran out of "food" billions of years ago and went onto a forced starvation diet.
On the other hand, black holes approximately 10 to 100 million solar masses followed a more controlled eating plan. Because they took smaller portions of their meals of gas and dust, they continue growing. "Our data show some super massive black holes seem to binge, while others prefer to graze," said Amy Barger of the University of Wisconsin and University of Hawaii. Barger is lead author of the paper describing the results in the latest issue of The Astronomical Journal. "We understand better than ever how super massive black holes grow."
Megan Watzke | EurekAlert!
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