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Oldest quasar and supermassive black hole discovered in the distant universe

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18%. 1 min read.

The most distant quasar and the earliest known supermassive black hole have been discovered, shedding light on how massive galaxies formed in the early universe.

(CNN)The most distant quasar and the earliest known supermassive black hole have been discovered, shedding light on how massive galaxies formed in the early universe.

Astronomers believe that the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies actually power quasars, acting like an engine.

This quasar is a thousand times more luminous than our Milky Way galaxy, and it's powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole.

"The most distant quasars are crucial for understanding how the earliest black holes formed and for understanding cosmic reionization -- the last major phase transition of our Universe," said Xiaohui Fan, study coauthor and regents professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, in a statement.

"We think those supermassive black holes were the reason why many of the big galaxies stopped forming stars at some point," Fan said.

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