NASA telescope discovers most distant black hole ever discovered, sheds light on early universe

Last Update: July 11, 2023, 03:19 AM IST

United States of America, USA)

The James Webb Space Telescope has already spotted other black holes that appear to be even more distant, but those findings are still under review. (NASA via AP, File)

Astronomers discover most distant black hole using Webb Space Telescope, providing insight into early universe

Astronomers have discovered the most distant black hole ever discovered using the Webb Space Telescope, but the record is not expected to hold for much longer. The black hole is at the center of the Milky Way just 570 million years after the Big Bang.

It is 100 million years closer to the beginning of the universe than the black hole identified by a Chinese team in 2021 using a telescope in Chile. One of the lead researchers, astronomer Steven Finkelstein of the University of Texas at Austin, said Webb has already observed other black holes that appear to be even closer to the Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago, but those findings are still under review. Its being done. The discovery has been accepted for publication by the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

According to the Texas-led team, because the signals from this particular black hole are weak, more observations are needed. There are countless numbers of dormant black holes, some even more distant. But without any glowing gas, they are invisible, Finkelstein said.

Discovered in February, it’s particularly active and actually as small as a black hole – the equivalent of about 9 million times the mass of our Sun. According to the team, its size is close to the size of our own Milky Way galaxy.

Using Webb, the team also found two other, smaller black holes from the early universe, which date back about 1 billion years after the Big Bang. The observations suggest that these smaller versions may have been more common as the universe took shape than previously believed.

“There are probably many more hidden little monsters out there waiting to be found,” Dale Koszewski of Colby College, who was part of the team, said in an email.

Webb, launching in late 2021, is the largest, most powerful telescope ever sent into space. Its first images and science results were released by NASA to much fanfare one year ago this week.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – associated Press,