Most distant black hole discovered by a Webb Space Telescope

Using the Web Space Telescope, astronomers have found the most distant black hole to date, but that record is not anticipated to stand forever.

The galaxy that contains the black hole was formed just 570 million years after the Big Bang. This black hole was discovered in 2021 by a Chinese team using a telescope in Chile, which is 100 million years closer to the Big Bang than the black hole.

Other black holes that Webb has already discovered that seem to be even more recent than the Big Bang—nearly 14 billion years ago—are still being examined, according to an astronomer from the University of Texas at Austin. The findings have been given the Astrophysical Journal letters’ approval for publication.

The Texas-led team says more observations are required because the particular black hole’s signals are so weak.

There are countless dormant black holes, some of which are even farther away than this one. However, the astronomer noted that they are invisible without any glowing gas.

This particular black hole, discovered in February, is active and relatively small compared to other black holes; it has a mass of about 9 million times that of the sun. According to the team, that is comparable in size to the one in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Two additional tiny back holes from the early universe, dating to about 1 billion years after the Big Bang, were also discovered by the team using Webb. These smaller versions may have been more prevalent than previously believed during the Cosmos’ formation, according to the observations.

Another team member remarked, “There are probably a lot more hidden little monsters out there waiting to be found.”

Webb, the largest and most potent telescope ever sent into space, will be launched in late 2021. A year ago this week, NASA celebrated the launch of the spacecraft by announcing the first images and scientific findings.

There is much more to learn, and the CEERS survey is pricey. The group found two more tiny black holes in the data very quickly. The first was the simplest to identify within Galaxy CEERS 2782.

The black hole’s existence in the history of the universe could be pinpointed at just 1.1 billion years after the Big Bang because there is no dust blocking Webb’s view of it.

One billion years after the Big Bang, the second black hole, in Galaxy CEERS 746, was present. Its supermassive black hole’s bright accretion disc, a ring made of gas and dust, is still partially obscured by dust.

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