London, Jan 7 (ANI): In a new research, a team of scientists has claimed to have solved a cosmic chicken-ad-egg problem, by concluding that black holes came before galaxies.
According to a report in the Telegraph, this question has long preoccupied scientists, but new research focusing on the first billion years of the universe's history, indicating that the black holes come first, helping to build galaxies by pulling material towards them.
"It looks like the black holes came first," said Dr Chris Carilli, from the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who took part in the study. "The evidence is piling up," he added.
Earlier studies had revealed an intriguing link between the masses of black holes and the central "bulges" of stars and gas in galaxies.
Generally, the black hole's mass was seen to be about 1,000th that of the mass of the surrounding galactic bulge.
This indicated an "interactive relationship" between the black hole and the bulge. What was not clear was whether one grew before the other, or whether they grew together.
New radio telescope observations reaching back almost to the birth of the first galaxies may now have answered that question.
Radio waves received from these galaxies and travelling at the speed of light were emitted only about a billion years after the Big Bang which started the universe.
These young distant galaxies had much larger black holes in relation to their bulge mass than older and closer galaxies.
According to Fabian Walter of the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) in Germany, "We finally have been able to measure black-hole and bulge masses in several galaxies seen as they were in the first billion years after the Big Bang, and the evidence suggests that the constant ratio seen nearby may not hold in the early Universe."
"The black holes in these young galaxies are much more massive compared to the bulges than those seen in the nearby Universe," he explained.
"The implication is that the black holes started growing first," he added. (ANI)