Scientists have discovered 83 extremely old supermassive black holes

LSC Space News Now

It’s an exciting week for black hole research!

Astronomers have just discovered 83 extremely, extremely old supermassive black holes – about 13 billion years old.

These black holes were found via the Subaru Telescope in Japan, and are believed to have formed just 800 million years after the universe itself formed 13.8 billion years ago. That’s exciting news...because it means these black holes might have a lot to teach us about the structure of the universe that we see today.

A few more things to know about these monster-sized black holes:

  • They live near the edge of the universe, the furthest being 13.05 billion light years away.
  • Astronomers were able to spot them by detecting quasars, which are extremely hot disks of gas that surround black holes. Quasars are some of the brightest objects in the universe, which means we can see them even if they are billions of light years away!
  • Even though these black holes are 13 billion years old, astronomers are seeing them as how they looked at the beginning of their lives – essentially looking back in time! – due to the way that light travels.

Interested in learning more about black holes? Catch our show, Black Holes, playing every day in LSC’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.

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