Scientists discovered the oldest and farthest supermassive black hole that is about 800 million times the mass of the Sun. It is located about 13 billion light-years away from planet Earth and was formed 690 million years after the Big Bang.
The findings of the research were published in the journal Nature. The research was led by two astronomers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other lead authors from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena, California, according to Phys.org.
Robert Simcoe, the Francis L. Friedman Professor of Physics in MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, said that this is the only object they have observed from this era. He further said that it has an extremely high mass and yet the universe is so young that this thing should not exist. He added that the universe was just not old enough to make a black hole that big and this puzzled him.
In the previous studies, they suggest that these supermassive black holes that devour the stars and other cosmic matters are the driving force behind the quasars, which are among the brightest objects in the Universe. The scientists could identify quasars from the farthest corners of the cosmos. And the farthest quasars are also the earliest quasars, according to Space.
Meanwhile, this new supermassive black hole was identified by Eduardo Banados, an astronomer at Carnegie, who found the black hole while looking for quasars. He used an instrument called FIRE or Folded-port Infrared Echellette, which was developed by Simcoe and operates at the 6.5-meter diameter Magellan telescopes in Chile.
With the said instrument, the scientists identified one of Banado’s objects as a quasar that has a redshift of 7.5. This means that it discharged light around 690 million years after the Big Bang. They also calculated the mass of the black hole and identified it as around 800 million times the mass of the Sun.
This newly discovered monster supermassive black hole could answer questions about cosmic mysteries. These include how black holes reach ginormous sizes quickly after the Big Bang. It could also explain how the universe cleared away the misty fog that once filled the whole cosmos.