In an astonishing discovery, scientists have successfully found out a massive and monstrous black hole that is believed to be almost 13.1 million years away from Earth. They define it as the oldest ever supermassive black hole found in our Universe. This behemoth object is nearly 800 million times more massive than Sun is believed to have formed when the Universe was just 690 million years old (almost 5%of its current age). This latest discovery has pushed scientists to rethink about the initial stages of our Universe and how it formed.
Lead author Eduardo Bañados, an astrophysicist at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena said, “Now that we are seeing it, we have to explain it. And that is a big challenge for theorists right now. Scientists discovered the supermassive black hole through quasars, the brightest nontransient object in the Universe. When the monstrous black holes engulf stars and devour matter, they emit an extraordinarily large amount of light that give rise to quasars. Quasars are detected from the farthest corners of the cosmos and are considered the farthest objects of Universe.
The latest Quasar named ULAS J1342+0928 is the farthest quasar ever detected by astronomers which almost 13.1 billion light-years away. It surpassed the previously recorded most distant quasar, ULAS J1120+0641, which was located 13.04billion light years from Earth and was formed when Universe was about 750 million years old. Banados told that the most distant quasars could provide key insights to many outstanding questions in astrophysics.
After successfully discovering the latest oldest quasar, Banados said to Space.com, “This particular quasar is so bright that it will become a gold mine for follow-up studies and will be a crucial laboratory to study the early universe. We have already secured observations for this object with a number of the most powerful telescopes in the world. More surprises may arise.” Bram Venemans, a black hole researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy who was part of the quasar’s discovery, said that although the new quasar can provide important information about the early Universe, still there is need of more quasars.
Actually, Quasars are very rare in the universe and as per the scientists, there are around 20-100 quasars having similar level of brightness like ULAS J1342+0928. Also, it is impossible to get visible light from these faraway objects. So, scientists depend on infrared red or near infrared light while looking for Quasars and as their light stretches into even longer wavelength and get redder, thus making it extremely difficult for scientists to detect quasars.
The ULAS J1342+0928 was discovered and studied with the help of Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona as well as the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii. After searching one-tenth of the entire sky visible from Earth, scientists found this single farthest quasar which indicates how rare these quasars are. The study was published in the journal Nature.