Monster black holes in the early universe could have formed deep within giant star-like objects. The most detailed models yet of this scenario could help explain how black holes with a mass of a billion or more suns were created in the first billion years of the universe.
Models developed in 2006 by Mitchell Begelman of the University of Colorado in Boulder suggested that when a massive gas cloud collapses under gravity, it could form a small black hole at its core, giving rise to an object called a quasi-star. The black hole could quickly grow to 1000 times the sun's mass by feeding on the gas shrouding it, until steady growth would eventually turn it into a supermassive black hole. Warrick Ball of the University of Cambridge and colleagues have corroborated Begelman's original findings.