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Science. 2017 Sep 29;357(6358):1375-1378. doi: 10.1126/science.aai9119. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Supersonic gas streams enhance the formation of massive black holes in the early universe.

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Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
Department of Physics, School of Science, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.
Department of Physics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
Research Center for the Early Universe, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (World Premier International Research Center Initiative), University of Tokyo Institutes for Advanced Study, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8583, Japan.
University of Tübingen, Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The origin of super-massive black holes in the early universe remains poorly understood. Gravitational collapse of a massive primordial gas cloud is a promising initial process, but theoretical studies have difficulty growing the black hole fast enough. We report numerical simulations of early black hole formation starting from realistic cosmological conditions. Supersonic gas motions left over from the Big Bang prevent early gas cloud formation until rapid gas condensation is triggered in a protogalactic halo. A protostar is formed in the dense, turbulent gas cloud, and it grows by sporadic mass accretion until it acquires 34,000 solar masses. The massive star ends its life with a catastrophic collapse to leave a black hole-a promising seed for the formation of a monstrous black hole.


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