Hubble identifies a primordial black hole, it is over 13 billion years old

The Hubble Space Telescope has been more than ever a harbinger of important scientific results in the last period and, after identifying what has been recognized as the primordial star par excellence, it has allowed a team of astronomers to detect an ancestral cosmic object that it astronomers speculate it was one of the first black holes in the universe as it went through a phase of rapid growth.

Is called GNz7q and could represent the missing link between young star-forming galaxies and supermassive black holes. The incredible aspect of the discovery is that we had it under our eyes for some time but until now it had escaped the sight of astronomers, in fact GNz7q has been identified in one of the two most studied areas of the night sky, namely the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey. -North (GOODS-North).

We thus discover that this cosmic object has existed since the dawn of the universei.e. from about 750 million years after the big bang (which occurred 13.8 billion years ago)


As visible from the upper image, Hubble was able to identify this mysterious compact source of ultraviolet and infrared light that has nothing to do with the typical emission of galaxies, but is consistent with the radiation that is expected to be detected by a rapidly forming primordial black hole.

Cosmic objects of this kind have until now only been theorized and simulated on the computer, but for all intents and purposes this could be the first time we can identify one. According to Seiji Fujimoto, astronomer at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen and lead author of the paper published in Nature (in SOURCE) describing this discovery, the electromagnetic properties of the object are in agreement with the predictions of theoretical simulations and GNz7q is the first example of a primordial black hole in the dusty core of a primordial star-forming galaxy, also known as a “Starburst”.

This fits very well with one of the most shared theories in the scientific community, that supermassive black holes may have started their cycle at the center of the first Starburst galaxies before ejecting gas and turning into extremely bright Quasars.


GNz7q could be the missing link in the cosmic evolution we were looking for, as it has both the characteristics of a dusty starburst galaxy and those of a quasar. Furthermore, the lack of emissions typical of the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole suggests that the one present centrally is actually a young and rapidly growing black hole.

Further studies on GNz7q will perhaps be able to answer one of the questions currently without explanation, namely: how do black holes evolve into galactic monsters with masses millions of times higher than those of our Sun? If the nature of GNz7q were definitively confirmed, a new phase of study would open.

There is also to consider the possibility that the discovery of this cosmic object was not just mere luck, and that there may be many similar sources but they have only escaped our gaze until today. Such discoveries can only bode well for a next-generation space telescope like the James Webb, which is currently in the final stages of preparation before entering full capacity.

The brand new space telescope will be able to exploit its incredible infrared imaging capabilities and scan the universe in even more remote places than those observed to date, so it could be the ideal means to better study GNz7q.

N: B: the header image is an artistic representation of GNz7q.

Leave a Comment