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Title: Populating the Low-mass End of the MBH–Mσ∗ Relation
Authors: Vivienne Baldassare et al.
First Author’s Institution: Yale University
Status: Published in ApJL
Dwarf galaxies are believed by some to be time capsules, but instead of old records, they are thought to preserve the seeds of black holes formed in the early universe. This is because most dwarf galaxies detected in the nearby universe don’t show signs of interacting with their galactic neighbours, leaving these relatively low-mass collections of gas, dust, and stars to evolve in isolation. Without contamination from other galaxies, astronomers can treat these dwarf galaxies as pristine pockets of the universe’s past. So by analysing the distribution and masses of the black holes in these dwarf galaxies, astronomers can hope to shed some light on how they formed.
Artist’s impression of the first stars in the universe. [NASA/WMAP Science Team]Two formation mechanisms dominate discussion: either black holes formed from ...