NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory have teamed up to unveil a jaw-dropping secret hidden in a galaxy more than 13 billion years old! We unveil the oldest and most colossal black hole ever confirmed and the age-old questions it answers.
Astronomical Marvel Unveiled
Two NASA space telescopes uncovered an enigmatic secret lurking within the universe’s ancient past.
Cosmic Time Travel
These groundbreaking observations transport us back in time, a staggering 13.2 billion years ago, to explore the origins of this supermassive black hole. The findings have cosmic implications, revealing a mystery that has baffled scientists since they first discovered black holes in the 1700’s. It turns out that supermassive black holes were present in the universe not long after the Big Bang, meaning they existed in baby galaxies 13 billion years ago. In space, there are two main types of black holes, the first being “stellar mass,” which can be around 10 to 100 times heavier than our Sun.
A “Supermassive” Discovery
The other type is “supermassive,” and it’s much, much larger, often billions of times heavier than the Sun. The mystery we’re solving is about these supermassive ones. What’s so amazing about this discovery is that these supermassive black holes usually live right at the center of galaxies, including our Milky Way. But scientists didn’t know exactly how they formed until now. Scientists say this supermassive black hole is the oldest one ever found. It was around about 13.2 billion years ago, which is just 470 million years after the universe began with the Big Bang.
To make this discovery, NASA used two incredible telescopes. One is called the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which has been studying the universe since 1999.
Time Travelling Telescope
The other is the James Webb Space Telescope, launched in 2021. It can see in a unique way that helps us look deep into space and way back in time. The light from the galaxy where the black hole was found traveled for 13.2 billion years to reach us, and now we can see back into the past. When scientists looked at this ancient galaxy, they realized that the supermassive black hole at its center had a mass similar to the entire galaxy itself. This is mind-blowing!
In the past, scientists had two ideas about how these supermassive black holes formed. One idea is called the “light seed” theory, where a star turns into a supermassive black hole over time. The other is the “heavy seed” theory, where a massive cloud of gas collapses to form the black hole. The discovery supports the “heavy seed” theory.
Theories in Cosmic Clash
While this finding is exciting, it’s crucial to remember that the universe is vast, and this is just one galaxy. We can’t say for sure that all supermassive black holes formed in the same way. This discovery is an essential step in understanding how our universe evolved. The James Webb Space Telescope was specifically designed to uncover secrets about the early universe.
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