A precocious black hole

July 9, 2015

Keck A research team, led by ETH Zurich researcher Benny Trakhtenbrot, has discovered a gigantic black hole that is much more massive than we expect it to be. Using data from Hubble, Chandra and the Keck Telescope in Hawaii, the team have found that the black hole has a mass that is 10% the mass of the 'normal sized' galaxy it sits in. This black hole exists in the very distant Universe at redshift 3.328, a mere 2 billion years after the Big Bang. As a comparison, in the nearby Universe most black holes have masses around 0.2 to 0.5% the mass of their host galaxies. So this monster black hole grew much quicker than was thought possible, and this may change our understanding of how black holes and galaxies form together. These results have recently been published in Science. Read the press release here.