At the center of a distant galaxy, scientists have found the oldest black hole ever discovered, and it's so weird it's posing some perplexing questions.
Bañados and colleagues explored another possibility: If you start at the new black hole's current mass and rewind the tape, sucking away matter at the Eddington rate until you approach the Big Bang, you see it must have initially formed as an object heavier than 1,000 times the mass of the sun. This massive object, 800 million times more massive than the Sun, is now the most distant quasar ever found, and as a result, it is the earliest one ever observed.
Venemans Bram of the Max Planck Institute and an author on the paper says it's likely the early universe favored the formation of massive, unstable stars that exploded after a few million years, producing metals more rapidly than our present universe.
The researcher Eduardo Banados of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who led the research published in the journal Nature said that so if the universe was a 50-year-old person, we are seeing a picture of that character when he or she was 2-1/2 years old. The find of this supermassive black hole is puzzling astronomers because they can't figure out how this black hole was formed so early in the universe's history.
It is the most distant black hole ever seen by scientists. "With several next-generation, even-more-sensitive facilities now being built, we can expect many exciting discoveries in the very early universe in the coming years". Quasars consist of a supermassive black hole and the swirling bits of matter it absorbs.
"The new quasar is itself one of the first galaxies, and yet it already harbors a behemoth black hole as massive as others in the present-day universe", co-author Xiaohui Fan of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory said in a statement.More news: Instagram Launched Stories Highlights and Stories Archive
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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.
A newly discovered quasar, known as J1342+0928, is now challenging that idea, though. "And it greatly confused us", says MIT Professor of physics Robert Simcoe.
The black hole doesn't match up with existing formation models based on what occurred following the Big Bang.
When the universe began, it was like a very hot soup of extremely energetic but formless particles.
About 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe had cooled down sufficiently to form hydrogen atoms. It is surrounded by neutral hydrogen, indicating that it is from the period called the epoch of reionization, when the universe's first light sources turned on.
"This is a very exciting discovery", he said. It's part of a long-term search for the earliest quasars, which will continue. It's thought that black holes grow by accreting, or absorbing mass from the surrounding environment.