The farthest active supermassive black hole ever recorded has been found by researchers utilizing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This black hole, which is found in the galaxy CEERS 1019, was active about 570 million years after the Big Bang and is distinctive because it is the smallest black hole ever found from this early period of the universe.
According to the study, two more black holes that were smaller than usual were discovered between 1 billion and 1.1 billion years after the Big Bang. Eleven galaxies from a time when the cosmos was between 470 million and 675 million years old have also been discovered by JWST.
JWST Discovered a Supermassive Black Hole Changes Everything We Know About the Big Bang
Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey
The discovery was made possible by Steven Finkelstein, an astronomy professor at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team’s Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey. High-resolution near- and mid-infrared imaging from JWST as well as spectral data were used to help the survey draw conclusions.
“Looking at this distant object with this telescope is a lot like looking at data from Supermassive black holes that exist in galaxies near our own,” said Rebecca Larson, a recent UT Austin Ph.D. graduate, and the study’s lead author. “So many spectral lines need to be examined,”
The group has made these findings available in a number of preliminary papers in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
In addition to its age, CEERS 1019 is noteworthy for the comparatively small mass of its black hole. Its mass of about 9 million solar masses is considerably less than that of other early universe black holes found by other telescopes. These other supermassive black holes are more visible because of their luminosity, and they often boast masses that are nearly a billion times greater than that of the sun. The black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, which is 4.6 million times as massive as the sun, is more comparable to the black hole in CEERS 1019.
Existence and Formation are Mysterious
This relatively small black hole’s existence so early in the universe’s history raises intriguing issues about how it developed so quickly after the creation of the universe. Although it has long been assumed by scientists that smaller black holes would have existed in the early cosmos, there was no conclusive proof until JWST started its observations.
Investigating the Galaxy and the Black Hole
The study team was able to distinguish between emissions from the black hole and those from its host galaxy in the spectrum data. They were also able to determine the galaxy’s star formation rate and calculate the black hole’s rate of gas ingestion.
The scientists found that this galaxy is creating new stars and devouring gas at the greatest rate conceivable. The pictures show that CEERS 1019 doesn’t look like a single circular disc, but rather three brilliant clumps.