The farthest massive 'Black-hole' discovered by scientists

08 December, 2017, 01:40 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Schematic representation of the look back into history

The object, surrounded by a bright disc of gas and dust known as a quasar, is the most distant black hole to be found, said Tom Geballe, an astronomer at Gemini Observatory.

The light from this quasar was emitted 690 million years after the Big Bang, relatively close to the beginning of everything. A study reveals that it grew to 800 million times the mass of the Sun when the Universe was just five per cent of its current age. Discovering such a massive black hole existing so early in the universe's history amazed the researchers. The light of the newly discovered most distant quasar yet carries crucial information regarding one of the earliest phases of the universe, the so-called reionization phase.

A team led by Eduardo BaƱados, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena, found the new black hole by searching through old data for objects with the right color to be ultradistant quasars - the visible signatures of supermassive black holes swallowing gas.

Quasars could be detected from the farthest corners of the world as they are the most distant objects known. Quasars consist of a supermassive black hole and the swirling bits of matter it absorbs.




Some hundreds of millions of years later, the energetic ultraviolet radiation of the first stars and the accretion disks of the first black holes reionized almost all of the hydrogen in the universe, separating the electrons from the hydrogen nuclei (protons).

In this case, the researchers are using a quasar in the host galaxy to determine that the light reaching us now took over 13 billion years to get here.

"This object provides us with a measurement of the time at which the universe first became illuminated with starlight", said another of the researchers, physics professor Robert Simcoe of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. "Gathering all this mass in fewer than 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth". "What was surprising here was that this one seemed to be fully formed even though the universe was very young at this period in time". During its early stage, the universe went through what is sometimes called the Dark Age - not a metaphor, as it is for the human period, but a truly a dark age as there was no light.

"This is the only object we have observed from this era", says Simcoe. Astronomers observe the pattern occurred around 690 million years from the formation of the Universe, even before reionizatsii. At some point, the radiation released by material as it falls into the black hole carries out so much momentum that it blocks new gas from falling in and disrupts the flow. In this approach, collapsing clouds in the early universe gave birth to overgrown baby black holes that weighed thousands or tens of thousands of solar masses.

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