The Youngest, Most Massive Black Hole Is A Puz…

The Youngest, Most Massive Black Hole Is A Puzzle For Astronomy

“Recently, a new black hole, J1342+0928, was discovered to originate from 13.1 billion years ago: when the Universe was 690 million years old, just 5% of its current age.

It has a mass of 800 million Suns, an exceedingly high figure for such early times.

Even if this black hole formed from the very first stars, it would have to accrete matter and grow at the maximum rate possible — the Eddington limit — to reach this size so rapidly.

Fortunately, there are other ways to grow a supermassive black hole.”

We did it! We found our most massive, most distant quasar of all-time, telling us we’ve got a supermassive black hole that’s 800 million times as massive as our Sun when the Universe was just 5% of its current age. Even factoring in all we know about the formation and growth of black holes, from the early Universe and throughout all of time, we expect that there will only be around 20 black holes this large existing this early. Are there going to be more? Will we have to revise our current theories of cosmology and structure formation? Or is this simply an indication that we’re beginning to discover the brightest, most massive objects that are out there at any distance at all? As always, more and better data will decide, but here’s what we know so far. 

Come get the full story, and some spectacular visuals (and video!) on today’s Mostly Mute Monday.