Bridging the gap between the approximately ten solar mass 'stellar mass' black holes and the 'supermassive' black holes of millions to billions of solar masses are the elusive 'intermediate-mass' black holes. Their discovery is key to understanding whether supermassive black holes can grow from stellar-mass black holes or whether a more exotic process accelerated their growth soon after the Big Bang. Currently, tentative evidence suggests that the progenitors of supermassive black holes were formed as ∼10 4 -10 5 M âŠ™ black holes via the direct collapse of gas. Ongoing searches for intermediate-mass black holes at galaxy centres will help shed light on this formation mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology