A huge camera mounted on the massive 8.2-meter Subaru telescope in Hawaii has gathered evidence of supermassive black holes that are formed in the ancient universe. Astronomers have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes billions of years ago in the first 1
It came as a surprise to scientists that black holes are so common in the earliest days of the universe, "It is remarkable that such massive dense objects could have formed so soon after the Big Bang," says Michael Strauss, professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University and one of the co-authors of the study. "Understanding how black holes can form in the early universe and how often they are, is a challenge to our cosmological patterns."
The data was collected by looking at distant objects that are about 13 billion light-years away. from the ground. As it takes time as the light travels along this vast distance, observing the quasars, it is far away to look back in time 13 billion years. The big bang took place 13.8 billion years ago, so these observations show how the universe appeared in early childhood
To view the quasars of this distance, an extremely powerful telescope is needed. The Subaru Telescope is equipped with a Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) tool that has a huge field of view of 1.77 degrees, which is seven times the full moon area. For reference, the Hubble Space Telescope has a field of view of only 0.04 degrees, which means that many individual images need to be stitched together to form the beautiful pictures we all love to see.
Using HSC, the researchers have found that between the 83 newly discovered quasars and the 17 that have already been discovered in the area of the study, there was approximately one supermassive black hole cubic gig light year. This means that if you cut the universe into cubes that were billions of light years on each side, then you would expect to find a supermassive black hole per piece.
The next goal of the team is to hunt for more black holes and hope to find out when the first supermassive black hole appears in our universe.