January 18, 2024 13:00:21 by Yao Liwei
On January 18, astronomers, observing through the James Webb Space Telescope, discovered the oldest black hole in the universe, dating back more than 13 billion years. The mass of this black hole is astonishing, reaching millions of times the mass of the Sun, challenging our existing theories on the formation and growth processes of black holes.
Current studies indicate that supermassive black holes found at the centers of galaxies like the Milky Way take billions of years to reach their current size. However, this newly discovered ancient black hole suggests that black holes can also form through other means, such as being “born massive” or rapidly consuming matter.
Nevertheless, this ancient and massive black hole continues to absorb material from its host galaxy to increase its own energy. However, compared to most of its later-formed siblings, this ancient and powerful black hole devours matter at a much faster rate.
This energy colossal ancient black hole was discovered in the young galaxy GN-z11. It’s worth noting that directly observing these extremely intricate, faint, and distant objects is not an easy task; they can only be detected through the formation of a rotating halo disk around them.
When gas around stars is drawn into the immensely powerful and hot energy and starts to glow, these heats produce energy in the ultraviolet range, reminding astronomers of a super-strong object hidden behind the halo.