An international team of scientists has discovered the most distant and earliest quasar in the universe. It formed just 670 million years after the Big Bang and is more than a thousand times brighter than our Galaxy.
The quasar, discovered with the ALMA radio telescope group (Atacama Desert), the 6.5-meter Magellan Baade telescope (Chile) and other telescopes in Chile and Hawaii, draws its energy from the earliest known supermassive black holes, weighing 1.6 a billion times larger than the Sun. The quasar, named J0313-1806, is more than 13 billion light-years from our planet.
“The most distant quasars are critical to understanding how the earliest black holes formed and understanding cosmic reionization, the last major phase transition in our universe,” said Xiaohui Fan, one of the study’s authors, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona (USA).
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Scientists have never observed such an early formation of a quasar and a supermassive black hole before, so the discovery challenges the theories of the formation of these objects in the young universe. After all, it takes time to form them.
Therefore, the researchers suggest that the supermassive black hole must have appeared as a result of processes that are atypical for the later ways of forming such objects. Scientists believe that the black hole was formed from a huge number of particles of the primary cold hydrogen gas that collapsed into its nucleus.
The quasar galaxy J0313-1806, according to astronomers, should have formed 200 times faster than ours. It grew very quickly and gave off a huge amount of energy.
Work published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.