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An Ancient Black Hole as Heavy as a Billion Suns Is Pointed Right At Us


Scientists have discovered the most ancient and distant “blazar,” a galaxy with a supermassive black hole that spews out mind-boggling amounts of light, at the edge of space and time. The object is roughly 13 billion light years away, but scientists were able to detect it because it is so “radio-loud,” meaning it is incredibly luminous even from afar.

由意大利因苏布里亚大学研究生Silvia Belladitta领导的研究小组于周五在《天文学与天体物理学》杂志上宣布了这一发现。它被命名为PSO J030947.49+271757.3(简称PSO J0309+27),是已知的第一个具有如此高“红移”的blazar,“红移”是根据发光物体的扭曲颜色来测量其距离的尺度。

A team led by Silvia Belladitta, a graduate student at the University of Insubria in Italy, announced the discovery of the blazar on Friday in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Named PSO J030947.49+271757.3 (or PSO J0309+27 for short), it is the first known blazar at such a high “redshift,” which is a scale that measures the distance of luminous objects based on the distorted color of their light.

Belladitta和她的顾问Alberto Moretti和Alessandro Caccianiga在一封电子邮件中解释说,这颗blazar的红移为6.1,这是以前从未测量过的类似天体的红移。研究小组指出:“在这个红移(6.1)的情况下,我们观测的是宇宙大爆炸9亿年后的样子。”这加起来“还不到其138亿年寿命的十分之一。”

The blazar has a redshift of 6.1, which has never been measured before for a similar object, explained Belladitta and her advisors, Alberto Moretti and Alessandro Caccianiga, in an email. “At this redshift (6.1), we are observing the Universe as it was 900 million years after the Big Bang,” the team noted, which adds up to “less than one tenth of its life” of 13.8 billion years.


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