NASA recently revealed that astronomers have discovered evidence for an extraordinarily long jet of particles coming from a supermassive black hole in the early universe with the help of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The source of this jet is a quasar i.e. a rapidly growing supermassive black hole – named PSO J352.4034-15.3373 (PJ352-15 for short) located at the centre of a young galaxy.
The image of this jet has been shared by NASA on its official NASA Chandra X-ray Instagram page. The caption for the image states that “the source of this 160,000-light-year-long jet is a rapidly growing supermassive #BlackHole, or quasar, located about 12.7 billion light years away from Earth. X-rays detected from the jet were emitted when the #Universe was only 0.98 billion years old — less than 1/10 of the Universe’s present age. This result could help explain how the biggest black holes formed at a very early time in the Universe’s history”.
“The length of this jet is significant because it means that the supermassive black hole powering it has been growing for a considerable period of time,” said co-author Eduardo Bañados of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. “This result underscores how X-ray studies of distant quasars provide a critical way to study the growth of the most distant supermassive black holes.”
NASA states that the light detected from this jet was emitted when the universe was only 0.98 billion years old, which is less than a tenth of its present age. Also, the intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation leftover from the big bang was much greater than it is today.
Image used is for representation purpose only