Astronomers have discovered that a super-size black hole harkening back to almost the dawn of creation.
It is the farthest black hole found.
A team headed by the Carnegie Observatories’ Eduardo Banados reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday that the black hole lies in a quasar relationship to 690 million decades of the Big Bang. That means that the light from this quasar has been travelling our way for over 13 billion years.
Banados stated the quasar provides a special baby picture of the universe, as it was only 5 percent of its present age.
It’d be like seeing pictures of a 50-year-old guy when he was 2 1/2 years old, based on Banados.
“This discovery opens up an exciting new window to comprehend the early universe,” he explained in an email from Pasadena, California.
Quasars are amazingly bright objects deep in the cosmos, powered by black holes devouring everything. That makes them ideal candidates for unraveling the mysteries of the first cosmic times.
The black hole in this brand new, most distant quasar is 800 million times the mass of the sun.
Much larger black holes are out there, but none so far off — at least one of those found up to now. These bigger black holes have had more time to grow in the hearts of galaxies since the Big Bang, compared with the young one just discovered.
“The new quasar is itself one of the earliest galaxies, and it harbours a behemoth black hole as enormous as the others in the present-day world,” co-author Xiaohui Fan of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory said in a statement.
Around the time of this newest quasar, the world was emerging from a so-called Dark Ages. Stars and galaxies were appearing and their radiation ionizing the surrounding hydrogen gas to illuminate the cosmos.
Banados suspects there are more examples like this out there, between 20 and 100.
“The newfound quasar is so glowing and evolved I would be amazed if this was the first quasar ever formed,” Banados stated. “The world is enormous and hunting for these very rare items is similar to searching for the needle in the haystack.”
Only one other quasar was observed in this ultra-distant class, despite extensive scanning. This newest quasar defeats that preceding record-holder by roughly 60 million years.
Still on the lookout, astronomers are unsure how close they will get to the true start of time, 13.8 billion years back.
Banados and his staff used the Carnegie’s Magellan telescopes in Chile, supported by observatories in Hawaii, the American Southwest and the French Alps.