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Monster Black Hole Found In The Early Universe

29 Jun 2020, 21:05 UTC
Monster Black Hole Found In The Early Universe
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IMAGE: An artist’s impression of the quasar Pōniuāʻena. CREDIT: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Marenfeld

In a new paper accepted to Astrophysical Journal Letters, a team with first author Jinyi Yang has announced the discovery of another super distant quasar, this one seen 700 million years after the Big Bang. It is the second farthest and is remarkably larger. Its central supermassive black hole is 1.5 billion solar masses, making it twice the size of the 2017 discovery. For something to be this big this early in the history of the universe, the team believes that a 10,000 solar mass black hole needed to have formed and been available to seed the quasar’s growth just 100 million years after the Big Bang.

This is a much larger black hole then we had been thinking could already exist at that point, and it would have needed to form through the singular collapse of a massive cloud of gas. How something this big forms that fast is going to present new challenges: heat released during gas collapse should throttle down the collapse, all else being equal, so there must be mechanisms that enable the collapse somehow, or perhaps they formed in a wholly ...

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