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Title: Observational signatures of massive black hole formation in the early Universe

Abstract

Space telescope observations of massive black holes during their formation may be key to understanding the origin of supermassive black holes and high-redshift quasars. To design diagnostics for their detection and confirmation, we study a simulation of a nascent massive ‘direct-collapse’ black hole that induces a wave of nearby massive metal-free star formation, unique to this seeding scenario and to very high redshifts. In this work, we describe a series of distinct colours and emission line strengths, dependent on the relative strength of star formation and black hole accretion. We predict that the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope might be able to detect and distinguish a young galaxy that hosts a direct-collapse black hole in this configuration at redshift 15 with as little as a 20,000-second total exposure time across four filters, critical for constraining the seeding mechanisms and early growth rates of supermassive black holes. We also discover that a massive seed black hole produces strong, H 2-dissociating Lyman–Werner radiation.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  2. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1565853
Report Number(s):
[LA-UR-17-30611]
[Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3366]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[89233218CNA000001]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Astronomy
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 12]; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-3366
Publisher:
Springer Nature
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Barrow, Kirk S. S., Aykutalp, Aycin, and Wise, John H. Observational signatures of massive black hole formation in the early Universe. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0569-y.
Barrow, Kirk S. S., Aykutalp, Aycin, & Wise, John H. Observational signatures of massive black hole formation in the early Universe. United States. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0569-y.
Barrow, Kirk S. S., Aykutalp, Aycin, and Wise, John H. Mon . "Observational signatures of massive black hole formation in the early Universe". United States. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0569-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1565853.
@article{osti_1565853,
title = {Observational signatures of massive black hole formation in the early Universe},
author = {Barrow, Kirk S. S. and Aykutalp, Aycin and Wise, John H.},
abstractNote = {Space telescope observations of massive black holes during their formation may be key to understanding the origin of supermassive black holes and high-redshift quasars. To design diagnostics for their detection and confirmation, we study a simulation of a nascent massive ‘direct-collapse’ black hole that induces a wave of nearby massive metal-free star formation, unique to this seeding scenario and to very high redshifts. In this work, we describe a series of distinct colours and emission line strengths, dependent on the relative strength of star formation and black hole accretion. We predict that the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope might be able to detect and distinguish a young galaxy that hosts a direct-collapse black hole in this configuration at redshift 15 with as little as a 20,000-second total exposure time across four filters, critical for constraining the seeding mechanisms and early growth rates of supermassive black holes. We also discover that a massive seed black hole produces strong, H2-dissociating Lyman–Werner radiation.},
doi = {10.1038/s41550-018-0569-y},
journal = {Nature Astronomy},
number = [12],
volume = [2],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Cited by: 4 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Evolution of the halo and the radiation field. Items in the top row include the initial source of LW radiation, the presence of a second atomic cooling halo, and the formation of a second DCBH are speculative. Items in the bottom row were simulated or calculated in thismore » work. The scenario evolves from left to right with time.« less

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