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Super big black hole from early universe farthest ever found

Dec. 6, 2017 at 11:05 p.m.


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have discovered a super-size black hole harkening back to almost the dawn of creation.

It's the farthest black hole ever found.

A team led by the Carnegie Observatories' Eduardo Banados reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday that the black hole lies in a quasar dating to 690 million years of the Big Bang. That means the light from this quasar has been traveling our way for more than 13 billion years.

Banados said the quasar provides a unique baby picture of the universe, when it was just 5 percent of its current age.

It would be like seeing photos of a 50-year-old man when he was 2 1/2 years old, according to Banados.

"This discovery opens up an exciting new window to understand the early universe," he said.

Quasars are incredibly bright objects deep in the cosmos, powered by black holes devouring everything around them. That makes them perfect candidates for unraveling the mysteries of the earliest cosmic times. The black hole in this newest quasar is 800 million times the mass of the sun.

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