Astronomers Discover Farthest Black Hole Ever
Astronomers discovered a massive black hole dating back to almost the dawn of creation. This is the farthest black hole ever found.
A study published in the journal Nature on December 6, 2017, reveals that the black hole lies in a quasar dating back to 690 million years. This suggests that the light from this quasar has travelled for over 13 billion years.
“This discovery opens up an exciting new window to understand the early universe,” said Eduardo Banados of Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington. He and his team used the Carnegie’s Magellan telescopes in Chile, backed up by observatories in Hawaii, the American Southwest, and the French Alps.
He described Quasars as incredibly bright objects deep in the cosmos, which are powered by black holes consuming everything around in its vicinity. This makes these cosmic figures perfect candidates for unraveling the mysteries of the earliest cosmic times.
The black hole in this newly discovered distant quasar accounts for 800 million times the mass of the sun in our solar system.
Several bigger black holes exists, however, they are not as far as the one newly discovered.
“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,” said co-author of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, Xiaohui Fan.
“The newfound quasar is so luminous and evolved that I would be surprised if this was the first quasar ever formed,” Banados said. “The universe is enormous and searching for these very rare objects is like looking for the needle in the haystack.”
There have been only two quasars discovered in this ultra-distant category, so far. The newest discovered one, outdoes the previous recorded one by around 60 million years.
Astronomers are still scanning space and are uncertain as to how close could they record a quasar to the actual beginning of time, which dates 13.8 billion years from now.
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