For years, astronomers have been searching for a “missing link” that bridges quasars — a term for extremely bright supermassive black holes — and star-forming galaxies called stars. “starburst” galaxy. Such discovery will help us better understand the origin of the universe and how galaxies form (and by extension, stars like the sun and planets like Earth).. While modeling and simulations suggest that these objects exist, it has not actually been observed – that is, until now.
An international team of astrophysicists at the University of Copenhagen has published a paper in the journal Nature on Wednesday detailed the discovery of the ancient ancestors of supermassive black holes. The object – known as GNz7q – was born 750 million years after the Big Bang in an era known as the “Cosmic Dawn”.
The team believes that GNz7q may be the missing link that helps confirm the theory that supermassive black holes can emerge from star-forming galaxies. This object also gives researchers more insight into the formation of the universe.
Seiji Fujimoto, a galaxy and black hole researcher at the University of Copenhagen and lead author of the new study, told The Daily Beast: “The rapid formation and evolutionary mechanism of supermassive black holes remains is one of the greatest mysteries in modern astronomy. An email. He then added that the discovery of GNz7q “opens a new avenue to understand the rapid evolution of supermassive black holes in the early universe”.
Using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, Fujimoto and his team were able to observe the host galaxy of GNz7q and discover a star factory of chaotic magnitude. The galaxy is pumping out new stars 1,600 times faster than the Milky Way. Such conditions are optimal for studying the origin of quasars, making it the perfect location to find an object like GNz7q.
“Its properties are clearly between these very bright quasars that others have detected in the early universe, as well as galaxies,” said Gabriel Brammer, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen and co-author. of the study, told The Daily Beast. “It’s like being in between the two, which is part of why we’re so excited about this object. It’s a case study of how these two phenomena are connected. “
He added that he and his team believe that GNz7q is the first observed example of “the ancestor of supermassive black holes”.
Ironically, this object was discovered in a commonly observed and studied region of space called the Hubble GOODS North field. For many years it went undetected, hidden in plain sight. It wasn’t until Brammer collected and comprehensively analyzed all of the datasets from Hubble that the team was able to single out GNz7q.
“That particular object turned out to be the brightest of the very distant galaxies in that field,” explains Brammer. “At the same time, it has a very unique appearance that is a very compact source. That’s what black holes are.”
“We began to think that this object could be the missing link between galaxies and the emergence of supermassive black holes in the early universe,” added Fujimoto.
Since the Northern field is also a relatively small region of space, Brammer believes that objects like GNz7q may be “more common than we thought”. Fortunately, now that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is in orbit, the team now hopes that they will be able to use the powerful observatory to further study GNz7q — and potentially find the another object like it.
“JWST will have the power to definitively determine the prevalence of these rapidly growing black holes,” explains Fujimoto. “So perhaps, we could soon spot a second, third, or even more similar number of objects like GNz7q in the coming years.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/hubble-space-telescope-spots-a-supermassive-black-hole-ancestor-gnz7q-hiding-in-plain-sight?source=articles&via=rss Hubble Space Telescope Discovers Ancestry of Supermassive Black Hole GNz7q Hidden in Plains Vision