Newfound Quasar is Almost as Old as The Universe Itself

If astronomers will look as far away as possible using their powerful telescopes, this means that they will also look back in time. Therefore, capturing images from over 13 billion years ago would eventually reveal just particles roaming randomly throughout the void of space, says our common sense. That’s when our Universe was very young. But luckily enough or not, the reality is once again there to contradict us.

An international team of scientists discovered a quasar named Pōniuā`ena and dubbed as J100758.264+211529.207 (J1007+2115). While quasars are far from being an unusual sight in the Universe, this cosmic object is different. It’s located 13.1 billion light-years away, which means that astronomers are seeing it the way it was 13.1 billion years old. At that time, the Universe was ‘only’ 700 million years old. While nobody from us would mind living that long, for the Universe it means its ‘baby steps’.

The second most distant quasar ever found

The J100758.264+211529.207 (J1007+2115) quasar is hosting a supermassive black hole at its center that has a mass equivalent to 1.5 billion times the mass of our Sun.

Dr. Jinyi Yang, who is a postdoctoral researcher from the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona, declared:

Pōniuā`ena is the most distant object known in the Universe hosting a black hole exceeding one billion solar masses,

For a black hole of this size to form this early in the Universe, it would need to start as a 10,000 solar mass ‘seed’ black hole about 100 million years after the Big Bang, rather than growing from a much smaller black hole formed by the collapse of a single star.

The astronomers are now wondering how the Universe could create such a massive black hole so early in its history. The new discovery challenges current models regarding the development of the oldest supermassive black holes.

The discovery of the J100758.264+211529.207 (J1007+2115) quasar has been reported in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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