Based on the behavior of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, codenamed GN-z11, it is thought that it may have formed differently than researchers originally expected from such an ancient object.

Astronomers at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge have estimated the size and activity of a supermassive black hole discovered in one of the most distant galaxies ever. The galaxy's light dates back only 400 million years after the Big Bang, making it the oldest supermassive black hole yet discovered. IFLScience.

The object in question is 1.6 million times heavier than the Sun. This is only about a third of the mass of Sagittarius A*, which lies at the center of the Milky Way, while its companion galaxy, GN-z11, is only one-hundredth of the mass of our Galaxy.

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The black hole has completely confused researchers. According to current theories, such an object could be formed in two ways: either with the help of the star's final explosion (a supernova), or directly, if the swirling cloud of gas and dust is so massive that gravity exceeds the point of formation. An object in a black hole. However, this requires that the mass of said gas and dust cloud be 10,000-100,000 times greater than the mass of the Sun.

Since it was only 400 million years after the Big Bang that the aforementioned supermassive black hole existed, the latter scenario would be more appropriate, but it is not entirely clear due to its behavior.

According to Roberto Maiolino, the astronomer who led the study, since it is very rare to see such a large object in the early universe, it is worthwhile to carefully examine how it happened. According to the specialist, since the galaxies at that time were rich in gases, these objects had plenty of food to feed on.

This may be the supermassive black hole at the center of GN-z11.

Based on data recorded by the James Webb Space Telescope, it can be concluded that the accumulated dust and gas collapsed into a black hole, but it is not clear whether this is actually the case. This is due to the amazing accumulation of materials passing through it.

At this point, it is worth clarifying the concept of the Eddington limit. It is the balance between the gravitational force of an object and the radiation pressure (light) it generates. Above this limit things collapse, below it they collapse.

Supermassive black holes do not emit light, but the matter surrounding them does. In the accretion disk, matter is subjected to incredibly strong gravitational forces, causing it to heat up and release enormous amounts of energy.

Supermassive black holes are extreme objects that can overcome the Eddington limit. For the supermassive black hole at the heart of GN-z11, the accretion rate is five times the Eddington limit.

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The team does not yet know for sure whether this continuous feeding has been ongoing since its creation, but if so, it would allow for the assumption that the object formed after a supernova.

The discovery of a more distant black hole could answer the question of whether ancient supermassive black holes were that big in the first place, or whether they were growing over time. However, we will have to wait for this for now. The publication about the current investigation is A nature-in Readable.

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