Discover Most Active Supermassive Black Hole
Using the infrared-sensitive instrument of the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA)/CSA) James Webb Space Telescope, a team of scientists has discovered the most distant supermassive black hole to date. Located within a galaxy named CEERS 1019 — which is only 570 million years after the formation of the universe — the black hole is less massive than other black holes identified in the early universe.
Furthermore, Webb’s data, which was collected as part of the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) survey, indicated the presence of two additional black holes that were smaller and existed about a billion years later. The creation of the universe. CEERS was also able to identify 11 galaxies that existed when the universe was between 470 and 675 million years old.
While the age and distance of the black hole in CEERS 1019 is remarkable, the small size of the black hole – and subsequently its weight – is of great interest to scientists. The black hole is about 9 million times more massive than our Sun – a much smaller mass than any other previously discovered black hole of this time. Typically, a supermassive black hole has a mass of hundreds of millions of times that of the Sun. Their extreme herds make them much easier to detect and observe, which then allows scientists to analyze them in more detail.
Due to its low mass and small size, the CEERS 1019 black hole is relatively dark and difficult to observe. However, with Webb’s great sensitivity to the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, the telescope can collect data that allows scientists to discover and characterize black holes.
“With other telescopes, these targets appear to be typical star-forming galaxies, not supermassive black holes,” said CEERS leader Steve Finkelstein of the University of Texas at Austin.
As mentioned, scientists can determine that black holes existed when the universe was only 570 million years old. Scientists have long theorized that supermassive black holes existed in the early universe, but they didn’t expect to find a black hole that existed this early in the universe. In fact, the team is not sure if a black hole could form this early in the universe’s life.
While the CEERS survey team continues to analyze data from Webb, the CEERS 1019 black hole could only hold the record for the most distant supermassive black hole for a few weeks. Webb’s CEERS data is full of uber-precise data that can reveal even more distant black holes when analyzed.
“Looking at distant objects with this telescope is like looking at information from black holes in galaxies close to our own. There are many graphs to analyze!” said lead author Rebecca Larson, of the University of Texas at Austin.
The spectral line analysis of CEERS 1019 allowed Larson et al. To determine how much gas the black hole is consuming, and, subsequently, the star formation rate of the galaxy. The team found the black hole is absorbing as much gas as possible as CEERS 1019 continues. Produce more stars.
However, why does this happen?
After investigating Webb’s image of CEERS 1019, the team found that the galaxy appeared as three groups of bright lights instead of a circular, circular point. This could indicate a galactic merger, in which case the black hole could pull gas from two or three merging galaxies. At the same time, gas from galaxies can force the birth of stars.
“We’ve never seen so much structure in pictures at these distances.
As mentioned above, all this data is from only a few months of analysis. As the data continues to be analyzed by Larson et al., new discoveries will be possible. In fact, the team is looking at two other small black holes found in the CEERS data.
Both the black holes CEERS 2782 and CEERS 746 are as small and low-mass as the black hole CEERS 1019. Both black holes have about 10 million times the mass of the Sun.
“Researchers have known for a long time that there must have been a small black hole in the early universe. Webb was the first observatory to capture them clearly. “Now, we think low-mass black holes are probably everywhere, waiting to be discovered,” Kocevski said.
The age of these galaxies means they are among the most distant galaxies ever discovered.
“Webb was the first to detect some of these galaxies.
In a survey of 100,000 galaxies called CEERS, Webb found the most distant supermassive black hole to date, two early dwarf black holes, and 11 early galaxies. All existed in the first 1.1 billion years after the Big Bang. Seriously! https://t.co/5ZXzUZtDYM pic.twitter.com/mBA7edLhXX
— NASA Webb Telescope (@NASAWebb) July 6, 2023
These findings are just the first groundbreaking findings from CEERS.
“Until now, research on matter in the early universe is mostly theoretical. That’s the tremendous power of this telescope,” Finkelstein said.
(Lead image: Part of the CEERS survey conducted by Webb. Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA/Steve Finkelstein (UT Austin)/Micaela Bagley (UT Austin)/Rebecca Larson (UT Austin))
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