A new research has suggested that the rapid growth of a supermassive black hole is due to the way it absorbs more than one flow of gas at a time.
Astronomers at the universities of Leicester and Monash studied the structure of some massive black holes which are billions of times heavier than the sun.
"Almost every galaxy has an enormously massive black hole in its center,” said Andrew King of the University of Leicester. “Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, has one about four million times heavier than the sun. But some galaxies have black holes a thousand times heavier still.”
"These hugely massive black holes were already full--grown when the universe was very young, less than a tenth of its present age," he explained.
Black holes grow by absorbing gas which is usually a slow process and does not make it possible for the holes to grow into huge masses.
Scientists used computer stimulation of two flows of gas which orbit around the hole in two different courses. The flows collided and were sucked in by the black hole after a short time.
Results showed a 1,000 times faster growth after the hole absorbed the two gas flows.
"If two guys ride motorbikes on a Wall of Death and they collide, they lose the centrifugal force holding them to the walls and fall," King noted.
"We don't know exactly how gas flows inside galaxies in the early universe, but I think it is very promising that if the flows are chaotic it is very easy for the black hole to feed."
The findings are set to be published in the journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.