"This black hole grew far larger than we expected in only 690 million years after the Big Bang, which challenges our theories about how black holes form", said study co-author Daniel Stern of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The hole is in the center of the bright quasar, the light from which reached Earth only after 13 billion years. Based on the quasar's redshift, the researchers calculated the mass of the black hole at its center and determined that it is around 800 million times the mass of the sun.
Venemans Bram of the Max Planck Institute and an author on the paper says it's likely the early universe favored the formation of massive, unstable stars that exploded after a few million years, producing metals more rapidly than our present universe. Explaining how such a massive black hole could have formed in such a comparatively short amount of available time is a challenge for models of supermassive black hole formation, and effectively rules out some of those models.
An global team of scientists worked on this study, which has been published in Nature, and discovered the farthest and likely the earliest black hole quasar ever. Matter such as gas falling onto the black hole will form an ultra-hot accretion disk before falling in, making the whole setup one of the most luminous objects in the universe: a quasar. Most are dormant, and thus are only "seen" by how their enormous gravity affects the objects around them.
Supermassive discovered was a quasar, which can provide fundamental information about the Universe, the age of about 5 per cent of its current age. Scientists have now found a super-sized black hole.
This behemoth black hole formed when stars were beginning to alter the cosmic universe by exposing objects to light.
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The newly discovered quasar adds a crucial data point: Its light shows that a significant fraction of hydrogen was still neutral 690 million years after the Big Bang.
While the black hole itself remains a mystery, its existence provided the team with another discovery: information about when the stars first turned on, Simcoe said. "It has an extremely high mass, and yet the universe is so young that this thing shouldn't exist". During its early stage, the universe went through what is sometimes called the Dark Age - not a metaphor, as it is for the human period, but a truly a dark age as there was no light.
It's the first time we are able to detect something this old, and the prospect is exciting as it offers us a unique glimpse into the past. After gravity condensed matter, the first stars and galaxies were formed. It's part of a long-term search for the earliest quasars, which will still proclaim.
Distant quasars are valuable sources of information about the early universe. That means that the black hole quasar was formed exactly during that reionization phase after the Big Bang event.