These findings, published in The Astrophysical Journal, increases the number of black holes known at that epoch considerably.
WASHINGTON: Astronomers have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes 13 billion light-years away from the Earth, from a time when the universe was less than 10 per cent of its present age.
“It is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to form so soon after the Big Bang,” said Michael Strauss, a professor at Princeton University in the US.
“Understanding how black holes can form in the early universe, and just how common they are, is a challenge for our cosmological models,” Strauss said in a statement.
These findings, published in The Astrophysical Journal, increases the number of black holes known at that epoch considerably, and reveals, for the first time, how common they are early in the universe’s history.
In addition, it provides new insight into the effect of black holes on the physical state of gas in the early universe in its first billion years.
Supermassive black holes, found at the centres of galaxies, can be millions or even billions of times more massive than the Sun.
While they are prevalent today, it is unclear when they first formed, and how many existed in the distant early universe.