By | August 10, 2023
a black hole in the middle of a swirling orange cloud

Scientists now understand that supermassive black holes lurk at the heart of most, if not all, galaxies. These cosmic titans have masses millions and even billions of times that of the Sun, but enormous size is not a problem when supermassive black holes are seen in the local universe and thus more recently in cosmic history.

Supermassive black holes becomes a problem, however, when seen in the early universe, and they already have masses equivalent to billions of suns. This is because there must be some mechanism that allows supermassive black holes to rapidly accumulate mass and grow to such large sizes, but all existing mechanisms for this growth suggest that this process is too slow for objects like this to exist just after Big Bang.

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