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Astronomers Discover Second Largest 'Universal Monster' 700 Years after Big Bang

Astronomers Discover Second Largest 'Universal Monster' 700 Years after Big Bang

Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 - 06:45
Asharq Al-Awsat

Astronomers have discovered the second oldest "fake star" known as quasar, containing a monster black hole with a mass equivalent to 1.5 billion suns. A quasar is the hot zone surrounding the black hole. Like a star, it sends signals that can be detected from one region, and that's why they call it the "fake star". The new discovery was documented in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on June 24. The astronomers suggested the newly discovered quasar started its journey 700 million years after the Big Bang- the physical theory that establishes the beginning of the universe.


The new quasar has been named "J1007 + 2115," and it's one million year younger than the one discovered in 2018 known as J1342 + 0928.


Current theory suggests that at the beginning of the universe, following the Big Bang, atoms were too distant from one another to interact and form stars and galaxies. The birth of stars and galaxies as we know them happened during the Epoch of Reionization, about 400 million years after the Big Bang.


Xiaohui Fan, associate head of the University of Arizona's Department of Astronomy, told the Phys.org website on June 26: "In the aftermath of the Big Bang, the universe was very cold, because there were no stars yet; no light. It took about 300 to 400 million years for the first stars and galaxies to appear, and they began heating up the universe. Under the influence of heating, hydrogen molecules were stripped of electrons in a process known as ionization. This process lasted only a few hundred million years (a blink of an eye in the life of the universe) and is the subject of ongoing research."


"Then, the reionization epoch- at the mid-point of which this quasar was detected- took place. The new discovery is a big step towards understanding the process of reionization and the formation of early supermassive black holes and massive galaxies," he explained.


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