Home / Science / Astronomers have discovered the oldest, most distant quasar and a supermassive black hole 13 billion light-years away.

Astronomers have discovered the oldest, most distant quasar and a supermassive black hole 13 billion light-years away.



Lurking in a distant region more than 13 billion light-years away is a light.Quasars“Powered by Supermassive black hole It is 1.6 billion times more massive than the Sun. Astronomers recently found a beast in a galaxy, one of the oldest.

ancient QuasarsThis means the bright, large distant active galactic nucleus that emits massive amounts of energy has been dubbed J0313-1806 by an international team led by researchers at the University of Arizona. It dates back to 670 million years after the shocking Big Bang, when the infant universe is only 5% of its current age.

That puts it the furthest ̵

1; the earliest known quasar. The previous record-holding quasars were recently discovered in 2017.

J0313-1806 is only 20 million light years away, farther than its predecessor, but is Supermassive black hole Twice as Heavy – Challenge known theories about the formation of black holes in the early universe.

The team presented the findings, which will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters at the 237th Virtual Conference of the American Astronomical Society this week.

“This is the earliest evidence to show how supermassive black holes affect the surrounding host galaxies,” said lead author Feige Wang in a statement. “By observing the galaxies that are less distant, we know this must happen. But we’ve never seen it happen so fast in the universe. ”

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An international team of astronomers has discovered the most distant quasars in the universe, fully formed 670 million years after the Big Bang.

NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J. da Silva


Scientists believe that supermassive black holes swallow large amounts of matter, such as gas or stars, to form a cumulative disk that revolves around itself – creating quasars.These objects are the brightest in the universe due to this enormous amount of energy.

The celestial body was also the first to show evidence of hot air and gas coming out of a black hole at one fifth the speed of light, a surprising discovery.

However, the formation of the quasar is still a bit of a mystery.

Black holes typically form when stars explode, die and collapse, and supermassive black holes grow as black holes congregate over time. However, the quasars in the early universe were too young to become very large so quickly that way.

The supermassive black hole at the center of J0313-1806 is so large – still growing as it engulfs about 25 suns-equal mass each year, which could not be explained by previous hypotheses.

“This tells you that whatever you do, this black hole seed must arise from a different mechanism,” said co-author Xiaohui Fan. “In this case, massive quantities of extremely cold hydrogen gas collapse directly into the seed black hole.”

In that situation, instead of a star collapsing into a black hole, massive amounts of cold hydrogen gas are responsible for it.


CosmoView, episode 17: the Universe’s oldest supermassive black hole and quasar by
NOIRLabAstro On youtube

When quasars detonate their surroundings, they will remove most of the cold gas needed for star formation. As a result, scientists believe that super-massive black holes in the center of galaxies may be the reason galaxies stop producing new stars.

“We think those supermassive black holes are the reason many large galaxies stop forming stars at some point,” Fan said. But until now, we do not know how quickly this process started in the history of the universe.

J0313-1806 pumping solar energy 200 batteries per year for file comparison. galaxy Create stars with about one solar mass of “leisurely rhythms” each year.

“This is a relatively high rate of star formation, like those found in other quasars of similar age, and it tells us that host galaxies are growing very fast,” Wang said.

“These quasars are likely still in the process of creating supermassive black holes,” added Fan. “Over time, the outflow of quasars heats up and pushes all of the gas out of the galaxy, and then the black hole has nothing to eat and stops growing. How did these oldest large sizes and quasars grow? “

Quasars provide a rare picture of the formation of galaxies at the beginning of the universe. But researchers need a more powerful telescope for further NASA studies. James Webb Space TelescopeWhich is slated to be released this year, it allows for more details to be examined.

“With the ground-based telescope, we can only see the source of the point,” Wang said. How far has it been, and that will give us a much better idea of ​​the stages of its evolution. “


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