The James Webb telescope finds the oldest black hole ever discovered

James Webb

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has discovered the oldest black hole in the Universe ever found, according to a study available on the arXiv scientific papers prepublication site. 

According to the authors of the report, this huge astronomical object, which has a mass 10 million times that of the Sun, is at the center of a “baby galaxy” called CEERS_1019, which originated 570 million years after the Sun. beginning of universe

“This is the first (black hole) that we found at this redshift (point in time after the Big Bang), but there should be a lot of them,” lead study author Rebecca Larson, an astrophysicist at the University of California, told Live Science. the University of Texas (USA).

The unknown about its formation

It is still not very clear how black holes formed in the early Universe. But the recent finding could help astronomers better understand their existence and how they accelerated their growth during the so-called cosmic dawn, a period that spans about 100 million years after the Big Bang occurred.

“We didn’t know and we still don’t know how the black holes in those (early) galaxies got to be so massive, so early in the Universe,” Larson told Science Alert.

Hope in finding new, older black holes

The researchers believe that the newly identified object formed from the collapse of a massive object, such as one of the first stars in the Universe. These stars were much larger than today’s, so the black hole resulting from such a collapse would have an advantage on its way to supermassiveness.

Because of this, astronomers are hopeful of finding even older space objects of this type: “We are beginning to be able to study this moment in cosmic history in this way with JWST, and I am excited that we will find more.” “black holes, added the astrophysicist.

A record that probably won’t last long.

With the new observations and discoveries from JWST, it is very likely that the age record for this black hole will not last for long.

“I don’t think my record will stand for long. And I hope it doesn’t because I think that’s more exciting, that we’re starting to answer these questions,” the author concluded.