In a galaxy far, far away, an intriguing cosmic object resides, feeding on the remnants of the galaxy GN-z11. Located roughly 13. 4 billion light-years away, this galaxy is home to the oldest black hole that we have ever discovered, and one believed to have existed at least 400 million years after the Big Bang that started it all.
This and other black holes found in the very early universe pose a problem for current models on how supermassive dark-holes grow and evolve. As it is, looking back this far in time to see black holes of such magnitude makes little sense. The black hole within GN-z11 is estimated to be around six million times as massive as the sun.
Further, the oldest black hole that we’ve discovered thus far appears to be feeding on the matter from its surrounding galaxy, allowing it to grow up to five times more rapidly than the current theories suggest one can grow. It’s problematic.
The black hole was first spotted by the James Webb space telescope. After studying it some, it appears that the black hole is going to continue to force us to question what we thought we knew about these cosmic objects, especially the ones that existed in the early universe.
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Scientists believe there are at least two different ways these objects can evolve and grow this massive. First, a star collapsing and then taking millions and millions of years for it to grow and feed on matter. They believe that other black holes may be formed when too many dust particles and gases collapse. This creates what is called a “heavy seed”.
These seeds are able to grow, evolve, and expand much more rapidly. And that may be what helped spur the oldest black hole we’ve discovered so far to reach the size that we’ve observed it at, despite it being so old and only having 400 million years to grow after the Big Bang.
As I mentioned above, this supermassive Black Hole is growing much faster than anticipated. As such, scientists believe it might not have even had to start as a heavy seed to reach the levels that we’re observing now. This is a completely bizarre theory and calls into question everything we know about the mysterious objects of space. It’s not a rogue-black hole .