Astronomers have discovered six galaxies ensnared in the cosmic “spider’s web” of a supermassive black hole soon after the Big Bang, according to research published Thursday that could help explain the development of these enigmatic monsters.
Black holes that emerged early in the history of the Universe are thought to have formed from the collapse of the first stars, but astronomers have puzzled over how they expanded into giants.
The newly discovered black hole — which dates from when the Universe was not even a billion years old — weighs in at one billion times the mass of our Sun and was spotted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
Scientists said the finding helps provide an explanation for how supermassive black holes such as the one at the centre of our Milky Way may have developed.
This is because astronomers believe the filaments trapping the cluster of galaxies are carrying
The first billion years of the universe was about as chaotic as Tuesday’s first presidential debate. Galaxies were forming, gas was flowing… It was a real time. While we won’t want to look back on Tuesday too often, we do like to look back in time. And, in a cosmic sense, Earth is perfectly positioned to do so. Because of 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.
On Thursday, astronomers announced the discovery of a massive, intriguing structure from when the universe was just 900 million years old. The structure, about 300 times the size of the Milky Way, contains a supermassive black hole that has ensnared six