courtesy of bgr.com
Astronomers have made a groundbreaking discovery, finding the most distant black hole ever seen. The black hole, which existed as early as 470 million years after the Big Bang, was discovered using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the James Webb Space Telescope.
Combining Data for a Record-Breaking Discovery
Akos Bogdan from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) led the team in this incredible discovery. The researchers combined data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the James Webb Space Telescope to locate the distant black hole. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
"We needed Webb to find this remarkably distant galaxy and Chandra to find its supermassive black hole," says Bogdan. The team also utilized gravitational lensing, which magnifies objects behind galaxies by bending light around them.
Understanding the Growth of Supermassive Black Holes
This discovery is crucial in understanding how supermassive black holes grow and reach such massive sizes soon after the Big Bang. According to Andy Goulding, a co-author of the paper, there are limits on how fast black holes can grow once they are formed. This means that black holes that are born massive have a significant advantage.
The researchers speculate that the record-breaking black hole may have formed from the collapse of a massive gas cloud, allowing it to reach its current size and mass. Given its ancient existence, the team is intrigued to learn more about how it came into being.
The full paper will be available in the upcoming issue of Nature Astronomy, and a preprint is already available on arXiv.