"A team of international astronomers have been hunting for ancient, supermassive black holes -- and they've hit the motherlode, discovering 83 previously unknown quasars," reports CNET: The Japanese team turned the ultra-powerful "Hyper Suprime-Cam", mounted to the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, toward the cosmos' darkest corners, surveying the sky over a period of five years. By studying the snapshots, they've been able to pick potential quasar candidates out of the dark. Notably, their method of probing populations of supermassive black holes that are similar in size to the ones we see in today's universe, has given us a window into their origins. After identifying 83 potential candidates, the team used a suite of international telescopes to confirm their findings. The quasars they've plucked out are from the very early universe, about 13 billion light years away. Practically, that means the researchers are looking into the past, at objects form less than a billion years after the Big Bang. "It is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to form so soon after the Big Bang," said Michael Strauss, who co-authored the paper, in a press release. Scientists aren't sure how black holes formed in the early universe, so being able to detect them this far back in time provides new avenues of exploration.

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Original-URL: https://science.slashdot.org/story/19/03/18/0142215/astronomers-discover-83-supermassive-black-holes-at-the-edge-of-the-universe?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed