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Most Distant Quasar Discovered Sheds Light On How Black Holes Grow

fahrbot-bot shares a report from Phys.Org: A team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona has observed a luminous quasar 13.03 billion light-years from Earth — the most distant quasar discovered to date. Dating back to 670 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 5% its current age, the quasar hosts a supermassive black hole equivalent to the combined mass of 1.6 billion suns.

In addition to being the most distant — and by extension, earliest — quasar known, the object is the first of its kind to show evidence of an outflowing wind of super-heated gas escaping from the surroundings of the black hole at a fifth of the speed of light. In addition to revealing a strong quasar-driven wind, the new observations also show intense star formation activity in the host galaxy where the quasar, formally designated J0313-1806, is located. The researchers will present their findings, which have been accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters, during a press conference and a scientific talk at the 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which will be held virtually Jan. 11-15.

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