The nature and origin of black holes as well as their role in the evolution of the universe has always puzzled scientists. The existence of black holes from the earliest moments of the universe could explain more than one astronomical mystery, new research suggests.
New research shows that small primordial black holes filled the early universe shortly after the Big Bang, acting as accelerators for star and galaxy formation. The theory itself is not new, as it was proposed by Stephen Hawking in 1971. In new research, however, a team of astronomers has shown how primordial black holes such as these can exist. so fills in some of the major gaps in our understanding of the universe.
First, these black holes could explain the existence and nature of dark matter – the invisible stuff that is estimated to make up about 85% of all matter in the universe. Why? Simply put, these black holes themselves could be dark matter.
The theory of primordial black holes – originally proposed by Hawking – has been disproved because of the prevailing view that black holes are born after massive stars collapse at the end of their lives.
But new observations of black holes made over the years using modern technology show that the black holes lurking in the universe vary in size, some too large while others too large. small. That suggests they can’t all form from collapsing massive stars alone.
Study co-author Günther Hasinger from the European Space Agency (ESA) said: “Black holes of different sizes are still a mystery. We don’t understand how supermassive black holes come to be. can grow so massive in the relatively short time since the universe existed.”
The new model proposed by scientists has changed several points about the evolution of the universe. For example, if primordial black holes existed in the first place, they would have started merging early and had plenty of time to grow to the massive sizes they are today.
The gravity of these black holes would also speed up the formation of the first stars and galaxies, as it would lead to a faster collapse of the dust and gas clouds that enveloped the dark universe for millions of years. first after the Big Bang. As a result, those mysterious dark ages will be shorter and the first stars will form much earlier.
“If primordial black holes do exist, they are most likely the seed from which all black holes form, including the one at the center of the Milky Way,” study co-author, Astronomy professor Priyamvada Natarajan from Yale University (USA).
Not only large black holes, much ESA evidence also shows that a large number of small black holes scattered throughout our galaxy are too small to be born from the death of massive stars.
Scientists may soon find out if their theory is correct, thanks to the James Webb space telescope – the largest and most complex astronomical observatory ever built. James Webb is being prepared for launch.
When the James Webb telescope detects the first light in the universe – the light of the first stars that formed after the Big Bang, we will be able to know which theory is more correct: Black holes have existed since primordial or do they only begin to form after the first generation of stars dies.