Technology Scientists discover the oldest, most distant black hole yet

09:11  07 december  2017
09:11  07 december  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a jet from a very distant supermassive black hole being illuminated by the oldest light in the Universe. This discovery shows that black holes with powerful jets may be more common than previously thought in the first few

Prior to its discovery , the most distant quasar was about 870 million years old . The scientists said the existence of such a massive black hole so early on in the history of the University means that current models for the This object is by far the brightest object yet discovered in the early Universe.

The most distant and oldest supermassive black hole ever seen has been discovered, astronomers announced in a study published Wednesday.

The black hole resides in a quasar and its light reaches us from when the universe was only 5% of its current age — over 13 billion years ago, or "just" 690 million years after the Big Bang.

Quasars are among the brightest and most-distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding the early universe, said study co-author Bram Venemans of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.

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This brilliant beacon, powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun, is by far the brightest object yet discovered in the early Universe. This quasar is the most distant yet found and is seen as it was just 770 million years after the Big Bang.

That allows researchers like Ajello to study some of the oldest black holes in the universe. The gamma rays from the newly discovered blazars traveled at the speed of light for at least 1.2 billion years before reaching Earth. Previously, the most distant blazar galaxy emitted its light when the

The discovery of a massive black hole so early in the universe may provide key clues on conditions at that time, which allowed for huge black holes to form.

It's a truly gargantuan black hole, some 800 million times the mass of our sun. The size amazed and puzzled astronomers.

“This black hole grew far larger than we expected in only 690 million years after the Big Bang, which challenges our theories about how black holes form,” said study co-author Daniel Stern of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Study lead author Eduardo Bañados of the Carnegie Institution for Science said that "gathering all this mass in fewer than 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth.”

This is very unlike the black holes that form in the present-day universe, which rarely exceed a few dozen solar masses.

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Around a black hole 12 billion light years away, there’s an almost unimaginable vapor cloud of water–enough to supply an entire planet’s worth of water for every person on earth Scientists have found the biggest and oldest reservoir of water ever–so large and so old , it’s almost impossible to describe.

Scientists have discovered the most brilliant object yet from the infancy of the cosmos, a super-bright galaxy that challenges notions of how extraordinarily massive black holes evolved. Most distant quasar yet .

An artist's conception shows the most distant supermassive black hole ever discovered. It is part of a quasar from just 690 million years after the Big Bang. © Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science An artist's conception shows the most distant supermassive black hole ever discovered. It is part of a quasar from just 690 million years after the Big Bang. Another study author, Robert Simcoe of MIT, said “this is the only object we have observed from this era. It has an extremely high mass, and yet the universe is so young that this thing shouldn’t exist. The universe was just not old enough to make a black hole that big. It’s very puzzling.”

The unexpected discovery was based on data gathered from observatories around the world. It's part of a long-term search for the earliest quasars, which will continue. Even older examples could be discovered, scientists said.

The discovery was found by scouring the new generation of wide-area, sensitive surveys astronomers are conducting using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer in orbit and ground-based telescopes in Chile and Hawaii, Stern said.

"This is a very exciting discovery," he said. “With several next-generation, even-more-sensitive facilities currently being built, we can expect many exciting discoveries in the very early universe in the coming years.”

The study was published in the British journal Nature.

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