Published on March 26th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
New Theory Explains Why Black Holes Become So Massive
Astronomers examining the size of black holes have come up with a new theory as to why some black holes become hugely massive. According to researchers some black holes simple have no “table manners” and push their “food” directly into their mouths, consuming more matter than is necessary at one time.
Black holes are billions of times heavy than the sun and researchers at University of Leicester (UK) and Monash University in Australia were concerned with how they manage to grow so big and so fast.
Researchers have known for some time now that black holes suck in gas which forms a disc around the hole and spirals inward. However at regular speeds it would take black holes the lifetime of the entire universe to reach their current sizes.
That slow moving fact led researcher Chris Nixon of Leicester to ask “what would happen if gas came in from different directions.”
Nixon, King and their colleague Daniel Price in Australia decided to make a computer situation of two gas discs orbiting a black hole at different angles. After a short period of time the discs spread and collided while large amounts of gas fell into the black hole. When collisions and absorption occur a black hole can grow at 1,000 times its regular growth rate.
As King explains the phenomenon:
“If two guys ride motorbikes on a Wall of Death and they collide, they lose the centrifugal force holding them to the walls and fall.”
King believes that if gas flows were chaotic in the early universe it would explain how they managed to collide and create massive black holes, specifically black holes that can be ten billion times bigger than the sun.
More information is due to be revealed in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.