July 22, 2024

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The most distant black hole merger was discovered by James Webb

The most distant black hole merger was discovered by James Webb

The team noted that once the two black holes merged, they would create gravitational waves.

An international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of the ongoing merger of two galaxies and their supermassive black holes when the universe was only 740 million years old, using the James Webb Space Telescope. This is the most distant detection of a black hole merger ever, and the first time this phenomenon has been detected so early in the universe.

One of the black holes has a mass of 50 million times the mass of the Sun. “It is likely that the mass of the other black hole is similar, although it is difficult to measure because this second one is buried in dense gas,” explains Roberto Maiolino from the University of Cambridge and University College London and a member of the research team. The observed galaxy system is known as ZS7.

“Our findings suggest that mergers are an important pathway through which black holes can grow rapidly, even at cosmic dawn.” Along with Webb’s other discoveries about active, massive black holes in the distant universe, our results also show that massive black holes form The evolution of galaxies from the beginning,” explains lead study author Hannah Opler from the University of Cambridge.

The team noted that once the two black holes merged, they would create gravitational waves. It will be possible to detect such events with the next generation of gravitational wave observatories, such as the LISA mission recently commissioned by the European Space Agency.

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The research results were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.