Scientists have discovered an fantastic black hole

This illustration provided by the Carnegie Institution for Science shows the most-distant supermassive black hole ever discovered which is part of a quasar from just 690 million years after the Big Bang. On Wednesday Dec. 6 2017 a team led by the Carn

Scientists can now estimate when stars first began to light up the cosmic universe, thanks to the discovery of a supermassive black hole, NPR reports.

Bañados and colleagues explored another possibility: If you start at the new black hole's current mass and rewind the tape, sucking away matter at the Eddington rate until you approach the Big Bang, you see it must have initially formed as an object heavier than 1,000 times the mass of the sun.

The discovery was part of a concerted, multi-year search for ever more distant quasars led by Fabian Walter and Bram Venemans of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

The astronomers reportedly plan to keep looking for more distant quasars to understand what was happening in the universe at the time.

Study lead author Eduardo of the Carnegie Institution for Science explained that "gathering all this mass in fewer than 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth". By comparison, Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, which is thought to have formed about 13.7 billion years ago, is only 4 million times the mass of the Sun. Astronomers refer to this Doppler-like phenomenon as "redshift"; the more distant an object, the farther its light has shifted toward the red, or infrared end of the spectrum.




"This adds to our understanding of our universe at large because we've identified that moment of time when the universe is in the middle of this very rapid transition from neutral to ionized", Simcoe says. This black hole was seen devouring material at the center of a galaxy.

The black hole - an area in space-time with huge gravitational effects that can absorb all matter and energy - was formed when the universe was only 5% of its current age, The Independent reports. "And it greatly confused us", says MIT Professor of physics Robert Simcoe. "But it's pretty hard to get that kind of a mass that early in the universe".

Artist's impression of a quasar, an active supermassive black hole with a very high luminosity.

The black hole doesn't match up with existing formation models based on what occurred following the Big Bang. During its early stage, the universe went through what is sometimes called the Dark Age - not a metaphor, as it is for the human period, but a truly a dark age as there was no light. Roughly 400,000 years after the original explosion, a lot of high energy particles slowed down and cooled down to become neutral hydrogen gas.

When the matter falls into the black hole, it heats up and allows the quasar to emit light, Simcoe said. Astronomers observe the pattern occurred around 690 million years from the formation of the Universe, even before reionizatsii. That means that the black hole quasar was formed exactly during that reionization phase after the Big Bang event.

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