Powerhouse Astronomy: Blazing black hole from the early universe | Science News

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Powerhouse Astronomy: Blazing black hole from the early universe

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10:41am, June 30, 2004

A jet of matter and radiation shooting from a newly discovered black hole could provide new information about the radiation left over from the Big Bang and about the first galaxies. This monster black hole, one of the heaviest and most distant known, was already gargantuan when the universe was only a billion years old.

Estimated to weigh as much as 10 billion suns and residing 12.5 billion light-years from Earth, the black hole powers the oldest known blazar, a rare class of quasar in which a jet of particles and light points toward Earth. Many blazars also generate high-energy radiation, but X rays and gamma rays from the newfound blazar would have special significance. Such energetic emissions would provide a novel searchlight on the early universe, says Roger W. Romani of Stanford Uni

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