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

08:00  15 march  2019
08:00  15 march  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Supermassive black holes sometimes go on feeding frenzies—here's how they know it's time for dinner

Supermassive black holes sometimes go on feeding frenzies—here's how they know it's time for dinner At the center of most galaxies lies a supermassive black hole, more than millions or even billions times more massive than the sun. But exactly what makes these black holes supermassive remains an enormous mystery. These gargantuan cosmic monsters don’t just appear out of nowhere—it takes a bit of time to put on all that weight. But they aren’t just constant feeding machines, either: like hibernating animals, they move back and forth between dormancy and activity, without any clear reason why. A study recently published in Nature Astronomy shows the trigger for their mealtimes is probably even more complicated than we thought.

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.

Scientists discover 300,000 new galaxies

Scientists discover 300,000 new galaxies 200 scientists from 18 countries have revealed hundreds of thousands of previously undetected galaxies , shedding new light on black holes & how clusters of galaxies evolve. The first 26 articles have just been published in @AandA_journal https://t.co/CjsG9silrJ pic.twitter.com/9qWvGLV3tK— Low Frequency Array (@LOFAR) February 19, 2019 Using information from NASA's Hubble space telescope, scientists believe there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe. However, many may be too old and too far away to be observed using traditional detection techniques.

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.

Scientists discover 300,000 new galaxies

Scientists discover 300,000 new galaxies 200 scientists from 18 countries have revealed hundreds of thousands of previously undetected galaxies , shedding new light on black holes & how clusters of galaxies evolve. The first 26 articles have just been published in @AandA_journal https://t.co/CjsG9silrJ pic.twitter.com/9qWvGLV3tK— Low Frequency Array (@LOFAR) February 19, 2019 Using information from NASA's Hubble space telescope, scientists believe there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe. However, many may be too old and too far away to be observed using traditional detection techniques.

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.

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