Hubble spots 'missing link' with a supermassive black hole being born

Astronomers have found an extremely distant galaxy, GNz7q, which is home to a black hole growing into a supermassive black hole.

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A study on the black hole titled "A dusty compact object bridging galaxies and quasars at cosmic dawn" has been published in Nature.

Hubble spots 'missing link' with a supermassive black hole being born 01

Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data to identify a black hole growing into a supermassive black hole while the universe was only 750 million years old. They found the black hole forming inside a galaxy from the early days of the universe called GNz7q, marking the first observation of a black hole growing inside such a galaxy.

"Our analysis suggests that GNz7q is the first example of a rapidly growing black hole in the dusty core of a starburst galaxy at an epoch close to the earliest supermassive black hole known in the universe. The object's properties across the electromagnetic spectrum are in excellent agreement with predictions from theoretical simulations," said lead author Seiji Fujimoto.

GNz7q has qualities of both starburst galaxies and quasars but lacks some features usually associated with the latter. The black hole at its center is still growing, and it appears to be a precursor to the kinds of supermassive black holes and accompanying quasars observed elsewhere in the universe.

"GNz7q provides a direct connection between these two rare populations and provides a new avenue toward understanding the rapid growth of supermassive black holes in the early days of the universe. Our discovery provides an example of precursors to the supermassive black holes we observe at later epochs," Fujimoto continued.

You can read more from the study here.

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