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Hubble Space Telescope discovers supermassive black hole in space

The finding sheds light on the formation of these celestial bodies that were once stars.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Its name is GNz7q and it is a gigantic black hole that has just been discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in a region of the sky that had already been previously studied by NASA. In fact, the finding came from archived observations from space and can help shed valuable information on the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes like the one that hides in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

N. Bartmannm | ESA | NASA

The discovery was made by a team of scientists led by Seiji Fujimoto , of the Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN) at the Nils Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. As explained in a statement from the institution, the discovery of the mega black hole could be the "missing link" in the evolution of quasars, one of the brightest objects in the galaxy.

The statement explains: “Quasars, extremely bright objects powered by matter falling into a supermassive black hole, formed early in the history of the Universe, just 700-800 million years after the Big Bang. Quasars are thought to have evolved from supermassive black holes in dusty star-forming galaxies, a class of galaxies that has also been confirmed to have appeared at an early stage." Until now there was no direct evidence linking quasars to supermassive holes, but that could change thanks to the Hubble find.

The space telescope that was launched into space on April 24, 1990, discovered a source of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared light that is consistent with the radiation emitted by materials falling into a black hole. Experts think the discovery could help answer a long-standing question: How do supermassive black holes get so big?

The discovery of GNz7q forces the use of other telescopes that travel through space, such as the James Webb, to dig deeper and try to understand how common black holes are.

What is a black hole?

Black holes are defined regions of space within which there is such a high concentration of mass that a gravitational field is formed from which no particle can escape; not even the light.

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