Astronomers found the largest quasar ever in the early universe, more than 13 billion light-years from Earth.
Quasars are the most powerful celestial bodies in the universe. They are the core of distant galaxies, created when a supermassive black hole in the center "swallows" the surrounding matter and emits intense radiation. This star-like object is powered by infinite matter and can shine 1,000 times the entire star in the host galaxy.
Since the existence of quasars, astronomers have been keen to determine when they first appeared in the history of the universe. The newly discovered object , J1007 + 2115 , is one of the oldest quasars ever discovered, according to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Graphic standardized simulation J1007 + 2115. (Image: Phys).
J1007 + 2115 is also the furthest and most powerful quasar . It contains a supermassive black hole 1.5 billion times more massive than the Sun and takes 13.02 billion years of light to reach Earth. Astronomers estimate it formed after the Big Bang only 700 million years.
"It is the oldest monster we have ever known about quasars," said lead author Jinyi Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona, USA. "It only takes a very short time for the small black hole to grow to a huge size. This finding poses a great challenge for astronomers on the formation and development theory of black holes in the early universe. ".
The team suggests that J1007 + 2115 must start from a "seed" black hole 10,000 times the mass of the Sun as soon as 100 million years after the Big Bang. However, according to the current cosmic model, at the dawn of the universe, atoms were too far apart to interact and form stars, black holes or galaxies. The birth of celestial bodies can only begin in the Age of Regeneration, which occurred about 400 million years after the Big Bang.
J1007 + 2115 quasars (right) formed from seed black holes (left). (Photo: Phys).
J1007 + 2115 was discovered through a systematic search for the furthest quasars. The project was carried out by a team of 30 experts from Hawaii's Imiloa Astronomical Center, based on observations from the Maunakea Ground Telescope in Hawaii and the 4 m Víctor M. Blanco Telescope at the Observatory. American literature Cerro Tololo in Chile.