NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the James Webb Space Telescope have discovered the most distant black hole yet that began its life a mere 470 million years after the big bang. It can be found in a galaxy called UHZ1 in the direction of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, located 3.5 billion light-years from Earth.
The most recent Webb data revealed the galaxy is much more distant than the cluster, clocking in at 13.2 billion light-years from Earth, when the universe was just 3% of its present age. On the other hand, Chandra detected intense, superheated, X-ray emitting gas in this galaxy after two weeks of observation, a trademark for a growing supermassive black hole. What the teams discover here will help them better understand how supermassive black holes can reach colossal masses soon after the big bang.
We needed Webb to find this remarkably distant galaxy and Chandra to find its supermassive black hole. We also took advantage of a cosmic magnifying glass that boosted the amount of light we detected. This magnifying effect is known as gravitational lensing,” said Akos Bogdan of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA).