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Webb Telescope Zooms in on Early Universe Black Hole Collision

Posted 05-16-2024 at 02:40 PM by homeinindy

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continues to amaze astronomers with groundbreaking discoveries as James Webb Telescope Discovers Most Distant Black Hole Merger Ever Seen. This time, Webb has peered deep into the cosmos and spotted the most distant black hole merger ever observed. This titanic collision, witnessed a mere 740 million years after the Big Bang, sheds new light on the mysterious growth of supermassive black holes.

Galaxy mergers are common, and it's suspected that their central black holes merge as well. But how these giants grow to be millions or even billions of times the Sun's mass has remained a puzzle. Webb's observations of the galaxy system ZS7 provide strong evidence for an ongoing black hole merger in the early Universe.

By analyzing the light from ZS7, researchers found signatures of both fast-moving, dense gas and hot, ionized gas – telltale signs of a supermassive black hole and its energetic feeding frenzy. Webb's sharp vision even allowed scientists to distinguish the two merging black holes, with one estimated at a staggering 50 million solar masses.

This discovery suggests that black holes can grow rapidly through mergers even in the very young Universe. It aligns with other Webb findings of active black holes in the distant cosmos, painting a picture where these behemoths have played a key role in galaxy evolution since their infancy.

The quest to understand these cosmic giants continues. Webb's data paves the way for future observations, including those by the upcoming LISA space observatory designed to detect gravitational waves from merging black holes. The secrets of the early Universe are slowly being unveiled, one Webb observation at a time.
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