Grier Black Hole Masses

Grier Black Hole Masses

A graph of known supermassive black hole masses at various lookback times

A graph of known supermassive black hole masses at various "lookback times," which measures the time into the past we see when we look at each quasar. More distant quasars have longer lookback times (since their light takes longer to travel to Earth), so we see them as they appeared in the more distant past. The universe is about 13.8 billion years old, so the graph goes back to when the universe was about half of its current age. The black hole masses measured in this work are shown as purple circles, while gray squares show black hole masses measured by prior reverberation mapping projects. The sizes of the squares and circles are related to the masses of the black holes they represent. The graph shows black holes from 5 million to 1.7 billion times the mass of the sun.

Image: Catherine Grier (Penn State) and the SDSS collaboration
Licensing and Use