Ultra-Rare Black Hole Ancestors Found in Cosmic Dawn

“Astronomers have discovered a dusty red object 13 billion light-years from Earth. Could be the first known ancestor of a supermassive black hole,” report live science:

Ancient objects show properties that lie between dusty, star-forming galaxies and brightly glowing black holes known as quasars, according to the authors of a new study published in the journal April 13 nature. Born 750 million years after the Big Bang, in what is called the “Dawn of the Universe,” this object appears to be direct evidence of early galaxies that squeezed stardust into the foundations of supermassive black holes.

Objects like this, known as transitioning red quasars, were theorized to exist in the early universe, but have never been observed so far….

Study authors have shown in previous studies that quasars existed within the first 700 million years of the universe. However, it is unclear exactly how these supermassive objects formed so quickly after the Big Bang. Simulations show that a kind of fast-growing transition phase occurs in dusty, star-dense galaxies. Study co-author Gabriel Brammer, associate professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, said: “Theorists predicted that these black holes would undergo an early stage of rapid growth. said in a statement. In their new paper, the researchers claim to have discovered one of the rare transition objects, officially named GNz7q, while studying ancient star-forming galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope.

The team captured the early galaxies during the stellar baby boom, appearing to be forming new stars 1,600 times faster than our own Milky Way today. All of the new stars generated a tremendous amount of heat, which warmed the galaxy’s surrounding gas and shone brightly with infrared wavelengths. In fact, galaxies are so hot that their dust shines brighter than any known object since the dawn of space, the researchers said. In the brightly lit dust, the researchers detected a single reddish spot, a large, dense object covered in a massive fog of dust around it. According to the researchers, the luminosity and color of this red dot perfectly match the predicted properties of a transitioning red quasar….

[T]There will be many others here, such as waiting to be discovered with telescopes capable of looking much farther into the earliest epochs of the universe. The researchers write that NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, launched on December 25, 2021, will be able to hunt for these obscure objects with much greater clarity than Hubble, and hope it will shed more light at the dawn of dusty space .

Ultra-Rare Black Hole Ancestors Found in Cosmic Dawn

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