Astronomers have discovered what is believed to be the biggest supermassive hole ever existed thought to be holding 12 billion times the mass of the sun. The international team of scientists also believe that the hole could be as young as when the cosmos was no older than 1 billion years.
Scientists are speculating that the massive black hole could have grown from a set of black holes that were 10-100 times the size of the sun.
The findings by the scientists essentially put to question held theories that galaxies grew in relative lock-step over the eons. The team also discovered a bright quasar dubbed J0100+2802 that is believed to be the brightest of its kind in the entire universe and one of the youngest. The findings according to the scientists also thwart theories that young quasar ought to be dimmer while supermassive black holes should be less heavy.
Quasars according to the scientists are believed to be extremely bright with compact regions located at the center of gas-rich galaxies where such formation remains very intense. This is because it is usually fueled by the radiation burst emitted by the black holes at their centers. Supermassive black holes are known to absorb large amounts of gas and dust from the galaxy while releasing super strong waves of radiation that can stretch to the depths of space. It is this bright waves that usually make quasars the brightest objects in space.
According to authors of the findings, the light in quasar J0100+2802 was emitted when cosmos were no more than 875 million years old. The quasar was found to be seven times brighter than any known quasar from that period with the scientists estimating it might host a star weighing between 4 trillion to 9 trillion solar masses.
Professor Xue-Bing Wu, from Peking University in China, who led the study reported in the journal Nature, said, ‘This quasar is very unique.
‘We are so excited, when we found that there is such a luminous and massive quasar only 0.9 billion years after the Big Bang.
‘Just like the brightest lighthouse in the distant universe, its glowing light will help us to probe more about the early universe.’
The US co-author Dr Yuri Beletsky, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, said the quasar will act like a laboratory for scientists to study the way that a quasar’s black hole and host galaxy co-evolve.
‘Our findings indicate that in the early universe, quasar black holes probably grew faster than their host galaxies, although more research is needed to confirm this idea,’ he said.
The researchers almost overlooked the quasar because of its brightness taking into consideration its age and past theories. It was given a second shot of trials with the NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer space telescope, which eventually confirmed it was a quasar.