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Astronomers Found The Earliest Black Hole

Astronomers have found a supermassive black hole, which is the oldest such object discovered to date. The black hole is located in the UHZ1 galaxy and began to form 470 million years after the Big Bang.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) helped make the amazing discovery.  But even he needed help to look this far into the early Universe. First, astronomers used the effect of gravitational lensing to further enhance the light from distant stars. Secondly, the Chandra X-ray telescope was used to search for black holes in distant galaxies. Webb looked for suitable galaxies and measured their redshift, and Chandra caught the X-rays that black holes emit as they feed on matter.

Of the 11 candidates, the UHZ1 galaxy with a redshift of about 10 was an almost perfect fit (with a deviation of 4 sigma). It was located behind the massive galaxy cluster Abell 2744, which provided a “fourfold zoom.”  Measurements and calculations have shown that at the center of UHZ1, hidden behind layers of dust and gas, is a supermassive black hole with a mass of about 10 million solar. The mass of the black hole was equal to the mass of all other matter in the galaxy.  How it grew there to such a size and by the time light was observed from it became a mystery. The mass of all black holes observed in the local Universe is equal to approximately 0.1% of the mass of matter in galaxies, including ours.

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