Magazine article USA TODAY

New Discovery of Earliest Black Holes

Magazine article USA TODAY

New Discovery of Earliest Black Holes

Article excerpt

Astronomers have come across what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known. The discovery, based largely on observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, should provide a better understanding of the roots of our universe, and how the very first black holes, galaxies, and stars all came to be. "We have found what are likely first-generation quasars, born in a dust-free medium and at the earliest stages of evolution," declares Linhua Jiang, research associate at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, Tucson.

Black holes are beastly distortions of space and time. The most active and massive ones lurk at the cores of galaxies and usually are surrounded by donut-shaped structures of dust and gas that feed and sustain them. These hungry supermassive black holes are called quasars.

As grimy and unkempt as our present-day universe is, scientists believe the very early universe did not have any dust--which tells them that the most primitive quasars also should be dust-free. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.