Astronomers discover, A Cosmic 'Spider's Web' has a Supermassive Black Hole

Chaotic Space Events

We can compare the first billion years of the universe to a chaotic event of Members of Parliament doing a debate. It was all in real-time that the galaxies were forming and gasses were flowing. And we are all interested in what happened at that time and we keep looking back in time. All this possible due to reason that how long it takes light to travel across the universe, our telescopes can pick up the faint signals of what life was like in the universe’s very early days. 

Massive Structure found

On Thursday, astronomers announced that they found, from the time when the universe was just 900 million years old, a massive, intriguing structure which is the approximate size of 300 times of Milky Way, contains a supermassive black hole that has ensnared six nearby galaxies in a cosmic “spider’s web” of gas. It just shows us an example that how these small monstrous things can grow so fast.

The bright galaxies are trapped in a cosmic web of gas that surrounds the quasar  SDSS J1030+0524

In a new study by an international collaboration of astronomers detail the environment surrounding the quasar “SDSS J1030+0524” (J1030, for short) was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on Thursday. An incredibly bright source of light in the sky and contain a supermassive black hole at their center surrounded by a huge disk of gas known as an “accretion disk” are Quasars.

All Thanks to VLT (Very Large Telescope)

J1030, which resides in a deep, dark corner of space was examined by astronomers utilizing the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO’s) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and telescopes in the US. The supermassive black hole is slightly unusual because it’s also very young and which has one billion times more mass than our sun, is huge. 

Marco Mignoli, an astronomer at the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Bologna, Italy, in a press release said that this research was mainly driven by the desire to understand some of the most challenging astronomical objects and supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Although astronomers haven’t quite been able to pin down what was enabling them to grow to such mammoth sizes with several huge black holes have been found in the earliest eras of the universe.

Very Large Telescope (VLT) discover, A Cosmic 'Spider's Web' has a Supermassive Black Hole

Spiders Web: All Getting Trapped

A series of galaxies surrounding the supermassive black hole all intricately connected by filaments of gas was found while studying J1030 as stated by Mignoli. The spider’s web threads can be analogous to cosmic web filaments and the galaxies stand and grow where the filaments cross, and streams of gas are available to fuel both the galaxies and the central supermassive black hole can easily flow along the filaments.

The team reason that a large structure might be helpful to feed the black hole with the space food it needs to grow to such large sizes. As suggested by the team that these findings provide evidence that “dark matter halos,” invisible spheres of dark matter, are key to the formation of black holes and galaxies in the early universe. These halos provide a basic building block or a type of skeleton where matter, like gas, collects. All these gases get gobbled up when they flow through this invisible skeleton and eventually falls into the black hole. And eventually, with time, more the gases and galaxies falling into the black hole will lead to a bigger black hole. 

More Powerful Telescope Needed

Potentially around J1030, many more galaxies reside in the large structure in space. They believe that it can be imagined as the just tip of the iceberg. Barbara Balmaverde, an astronomer at INAF and co-author of the study said that the few galaxies discovered so far around this supermassive black hole are only the brightest ones. To observe light from faint objects in J1030’s vicinity, it’s hoped the ESO’s next-generation telescope, the Extremely Large Telescope will be of great help. It’s expected by 2025, that the telescope will be on board.


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