Recently the scientists have uncovered a rare thing, a supermassive black hole in the universe. This matter-eating beast is 800 million times the mass of our Sun. The finding report has been published in the journal Nature.
Daniel Stern of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California stated that “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.”
Astronomers combined data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) with ground-based surveys to identify potential distant objects to study, then followed up with Carnegie Observatories’ Magellan telescopes in Chile. Carnegie astronomer Eduardo Bañados led the effort to identify candidates out of the hundreds of millions of objects WISE found that would be worthy of follow-up with Magellan.
The newly found black hole is voraciously devouring material a quasar. As per the report, it comes from a time when the universe was just beginning to emerge from its dark ages. The discovery will provide fundamental information about the universe when it was only 5 percent of its current age.
Bram Venemans of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany said that “Quasars are among the brightest and most distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding the early universe.”
This newly discovered quasar has a redshift of 7.54, based on the detection of ionized carbon emissions from the galaxy that hosts the massive black hole. That means it took more than 13 billion years for the light from the quasar to reach us.
Scientists predict the sky contains between 20 and 100 quasars as bright and as distant as this quasar. Now the astronomers are looking forward to the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission, which has significant NASA participation, and NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, to find more such distant objects in the universe.