Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:July 2018
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- Supermassive black hole progenitors
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Hypothetical stellar objects possessing tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of times the mass of the Sun that could have arisen early in cosmic history. Supermassive stars are extreme versions of so-called Population III stars, the first stars that formed in the universe (Fig. 1). Researchers have proposed supermassive stars as the “seeds” for supermassive black holes, which developed inexplicably rapidly in the primordial universe, within a billion years of the Big Bang. These supermassive black holes powered extremely bright, young galaxies that we see in the distant universe as quasars, and have remained in the cores of galaxies through present day, including the Milky Way. See also: Big bang theory; Black hole; Galaxy; Quasar; Star; Universe
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