Radio Power from Direct-collapse Black Holes

Daniel J. Whalen, Mar Mezcua, Samuel J. Patrick, Avery Meiksin, Muhammad A. Latif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Direct-collapse black holes (DCBHs) forming at z ∼ 20 are currently the leading candidates for the seeds of the first quasars, over 200 of which have now been found at z > 6. Recent studies suggest that DCBHs could be detected in the near-infrared by the James Webb Space Telescope, Euclid, and the Roman Space Telescope. However, new radio telescopes with unprecedented sensitivities such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the Next-Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) may open another window on the properties of DCBHs in the coming decade. Here we estimate the radio flux from DCBHs at birth at z = 8-20 with several fundamental planes of black hole accretion. We find that they could be detected at z ∼ 8 by the SKA-FIN all-sky survey. Furthermore, SKA and ngVLA could discover 106-107 M o˙ BHs out to z ∼ 20, probing the formation pathways of the first quasars in the universe.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL39
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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