An analysis of the data collected in Hawaii revealed that the black hole in CID-947, with nearly 7 billion solar masses, is among the most massive black holes discovered up to now.
The findings of the multi-organizational study are featured in the journal Science.
“The black hole and the galaxy were not growing in parallel, as many models would suggest”, Trakhtenbrot said.
Newswise – A team of radio astronomers, including Sam Connolly from the University of Southampton, are watching a previously dormant black hole wake up in a dramatic display as material falls on to it for the first time for perhaps millions of years.
Even more surprising than the black hole’s record mass, was the relatively ordinary mass of the galaxy that contained it.
The findings, which suggest black holes and galaxies don’t always coevolve in-synch, challenge existing models of galaxy formation.
The team theorized that the M87 black hole grew to its massive size by merging with several other black holes.
The new study, which is being presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, shows, for the first time, convincing evidence of the onset, the “switching on” of this active phase, in a black hole at the centre of the galaxy NGC 660 – 42 million light years away in the constellation of Pisces.
“The measurements of CID-947 correspond to the mass of a typical galaxy”, Trakhtenbrot said. “We therefore have a big black hole within a normal-size galaxy”. The result was so surprising that two of the astronomers, including Hyewon Suh from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, MA, had to verify the galaxy mass independently. “Both came to the same conclusion”.
Albert Einstein first predicted black holes in 1916 with his general theory of relativity.
The black hole was originally discovered using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, and was then detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and by ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
“The black hole has roughly one-tenth of the mass of the host”, Trakhtenbrot said. Megan Urry, professor at Yale University within the US. This cumulative evidence led scientists to assume the growth of black holes and the formation of stars go hand-in-hand.
Theories of galactic evolution are hard to test, since the processes occur so slowly, and the universe has existed for so long that astronomers have few chances to view galaxies in their earliest stages.
If that feedback is the controlling mechanism, you would expect the mass of the black hole and the mass of the galaxy to more or less track each other continuously through cosmic time. But in about 10 per cent of galaxies the central black hole is much more active, swallowing material and spitting out giant jets. But NGC 660 also hosts a larger and much less dense ring of stars and smaller star-forming clouds, in orbit over its poles.
Yet the black hole in this galaxy, which is 12 billion light-years away, is out of proportion to those seen in more recent galaxies, says Urry. The existence of black holes can be proven because matter is greatly accelerated by the gravitational force and thus emits particularly high-energy radiation.
True, galaxies are known to transform as they gain and lose stars.