Tech & Science : Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes at the edge of the universe - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes at the edge of the universe

07:55  15 march  2019
07:55  15 march  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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Astronomers from Japan, Taiwan and Princeton University have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes that were formed when the universe was only 5 A supermassive black hole sits at the center, and the gravitational energy of material accreting onto it is released as light.

Astronomers from Japan, Taiwan and Princeton University have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes in the distant universe , from a time when the A supermassive black hole sits at the center, and the gravitational energy of material accreting onto it is released as light.

Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes at the edge of the universe© Yoshiki Matsuoka

A team of international astronomers have been hunting for ancient, supermassive black holes -- and they've hit the motherlode, discovering 83 previously unknown quasars.

The universe is full of supermassive black holes, monstrous versions of the humble, everyday black hole, containing masses millions or billions of times that of our sun. These huge cosmic beasts generate mammoth gravitational effects, so you often find supermassive black holes hiding out at the center of galaxies, orbited by billions of stars. That's exactly what happens in our home galaxy of the Milky Way.

To find them lurking out in the distant parts of the universe, you need to study the light of accreting gases that swirl around them. Because we can't see a black hole, but we can see the light, we designate these powerful light sources as "quasars". Down the eyepiece of a telescope they might look more like stars -- they are extremely bright -- but scientists mostly believe their light comes from gases falling toward a black hole.

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A team of astronomers has discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the early Universe . This increases the number of black holes known at that epoch considerably, and reveals, for the first time, how common SMBHs were early in the Universe ’s history.

A supermassive black hole sits at the center, and the gravitational energy of material accreting onto it is released as light. We now have an idea: Astronomers have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes in the distant universe , from a time when the universe was less than 10

The Japanese team turned the ultra-powerful "Hyper Suprime-Cam", mounted to the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, toward the cosmos' darkest corners, surveying the sky over a period of five years. By studying the snapshots, they've been able to pick potential quasar candidates out of the dark. Notably, their method of probing populations of supermassive black holes that are similar in size to the ones we see in today's universe, has given us a window into their origins.

Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes at the edge of the universe© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. quasarmotherlode

After identifying 83 potential candidates, the team used a suite of international telescopes to confirm their findings. The quasars they've plucked out are from the very early universe, about 13 billion light years away. Practically, that means the researchers are looking into the past, at objects form less than a billion years after the Big Bang.

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A team of astronomers has discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the early Universe . This increases the number of black holes known at that epoch considerably, and reveals, for the first time, how common SMBHs were early in the Universe ’s history.

We discovered this distant black hole because it is a quasar. When a black hole captures nearby material, the material becomes superheated and radiates powerful radio energy and x-rays. These beacons of light are so bright they can only be powered by supermassive black holes .

"It is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to form so soon after the Big Bang," said Michael Strauss, who co-authored the paper, in a press release.

Scientists aren't sure how black holes formed in the early universe, so being able to detect them this far back in time provides new avenues of exploration. Notably, the researchers discover a quasar with a much lower brightness than they expected. The features of that particular quasar, HSC J124353.93+010038.5, were reported in The Astrophysical Journal Letters in February.

"The quasars we discovered will be an interesting subject for further follow-up observations with current and future facilities,"said Yoshiki Matsuoka, lead researcher, in a statement.

We may finally have a way to weigh the Milky Way.
But more importantly, we know a bit more about why the galaxy is the way it is. A computer generated model of the Milky Way . But more importantly, we know a bit more about why the galaxy is the way it is. A computer ge . Imagine you’ve lived all your life in a single town, and have no clue how big that town is and how far it stretches. In 2019, that’s an unimaginable prospect. But from an astronomical perspective, that’s exactly our situation—we have no idea how big the Milky Way galaxy is or how much it really weighs.

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