Astronomers find the oldest, farthest quasar and supermassive black hole 13 billion light years away


Located in a remote area of ​​space 13 billion light years away, there is a luminous “KaiserFuel by “A. supermassive black hole 1.6 billion times heavier than the Sun. Astronomers recently spotted the Galactic Beast, the oldest trace of its kind.

Ancient Kaiser, Defined as a bright, large-scale, remotely active galactic nucleus emitting massive amounts of energy, internationally dubbed by J0313-1806 led by researchers at the University of Arizona. This is a shocking date 670 million years after the Big Bang – when the infant universe was just 5% of its current age.

This makes it the farthest – meaning oldest – known quasar. The previous record-holding quasar was also recently discovered in 2017.

J0313-1806 is only 20 million light years away from its predecessor, but its supermassive black hole Is twice as heavy – known theories on the formation of black holes in the early universe.

The team presented its findings, which will be published this week in the Astrophysical Journal paper at the virtual 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

“This is the earliest evidence of how a major black hole is affecting its host galaxy,” lead author Feiz Wang said in a statement. “From the observation of less distant galaxies, we know that this is going to happen, but we have never seen it happen in the universe.”

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An international team of astronomers has discovered the farthest quasar in the universe, about 670 million years after the Big Bang.

NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J da Silva


Scientists believe that supermassive black holes swallow huge amounts of matter, such as gases or stars, to form a disk rotating around them – quasars. Due to this huge amount of energy, these things are the brightest in the universe.

The celestial object is also the first of its kind to provide evidence for an outbreak of gaseous wind, hotter than its black hole at one-fifth the speed of light – a surprising discovery.

The formation of quasars, however, is of little apprehension.

Black holes usually form when a star bursts, dies and collapses, and supermassive black holes merge into black holes over time. However, quasars are still very young in the early universe, having grown so much in this way.

The supermassive black hole at the center of J0313–1806 is so large – yet growing because it encapsulates an equivalent mass of about 25 suns each year – that it cannot be explained by the number of previous hypotheses.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, the seed of this black hole must have been created by a different mechanism,” co-author Xiaohui Fan said. “In this case, which involves a large amount of primordial, cold hydrogen gas that falls directly into the seed black hole.”

In that scenario, instead of a star falling into a black hole, a large amount of cold hydrogen gas is to blame.


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When quasars explode around them, they dissipate the cold gas required to form wires. Because of this, scientists believe that the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxies, the formation of new stars, may cause galaxies to close.

Fan said, “We think the reason for those supermassive black holes was that many large galaxies stopped forming stars at some point.” “We see this ‘mitigation’ in the lower redshift, but until now, we had no idea how early this process began in the history of the universe. This quasar is the earliest evidence that mitigation would have been occurring in a very short time . “

J0313-1806 pumps 200 solar masses per year. for comparison, Galaxy Each year stars form at a “leisurely pace” of about one solar mass.

“It has a relatively high star formation rate, similar to that observed in other quasars of similar age, and suggests that the host galaxy is growing very rapidly,” Wang said.

“These quasars are possibly still in the process of forming their supermassive black hole” Fan said. “Over time, the outflow of the quasar heats and pushes all the gases out of the galaxy, and then there is nothing left to eat near the black hole and will stop growing. This is evidence that it will soon How galaxies and their quars grow in mass. “

Kaiser provides a rare glimpse into galaxy formation at the beginning of the universe, but researchers need more powerful telescopes to study it further. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, To launch this year, will allow a more detailed investigation.

“With ground-based telescopes, we can see only one point source,” Wang said. “Future observations may make it possible to resolve the quasar in more detail, the composition of its outflow and how far the air extends into its galaxy, and will give us a better idea of ​​its evolutionary phase.”

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