Scientist find black hole 13 billion light-years away

Posted on Sunday, Jun 10 2007 @ 01:11 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Scientists announced they've found a black hole located nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth, it's the most distant black hole that we know of.

MSNBC reports:
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope spotted the bright burst of light the black hole created as it sucked up nearby gas, heating it and causing it to glow very brightly in what's known as a quasar.

The distance to the quasar, which sits in the constellation Pisces, was determined by measuring the amount of redshift in the lines of the quasar's spectrum, or prism of light. Because light is "redshifted" to longer wavelengths as an object moves away from an observer, the higher the redshift, the further away the object is-and this quasar had quite a large redshift.

"As soon as I saw the spectrum with its booming emission line, I knew this one was a long way away," said team member Chris Willott of the University of Ottawa.

Because the Big Bang is believed to have occurred around 13.7 billion years ago, astronomers are seeing the quasar as it appeared a mere 1 billion years after the Big Bang, which gives them a unique view into universe's past.

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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