The most powerful quasar demanded massive embryo of a black hole

Astronomers said characteristics J2157-3602 — an ultra quasar with the highest known luminosity. He existed in a time when the Universe age was 1,247 billion years, and contained a black hole with a mass of 34 billion solar masses. Such a black hole requires a massive Bud, so the new data allow us to impose constraints on the masses of the initial black holes and the speed of their growth. Preprint published on the portal

In 2018, through data analysis ground review SMSS (SkyMapper Southern Survey), as well as space observatories WISE and Gaia, astronomers have discovered an ultra quasar SMSS J215728.21-360215.1 (or J2157-3602). At the time of opening it was the largest luminosity among known quasars, which amounted to 6.95×1014 luminosity of the Sun. Search and determination of properties of such extreme objects is extremely important for understanding the mechanism of the growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe and are carried out continuously due to the huge amount of data accumulated during the terrestrial surveys of the sky.

To clarify the distance to the quasar and its parameters, astronomers led by Christopher Onken (Onken, Christopher A.) from the Australian national University held its spectroscopic research tool NIRES (Near-Infrared Echellette Spectrometer) installed on one of the 10-meter telescopes of the Keck Observatory, and the receiver X-shootermounted on one of the complex of telescopes VLT (Very Large Telescope). In addition, scientists have analyzed images of the quasar obtained in the near-infrared range receiver FIRE (Folded-port InfraRed Echellette instrument), mounted on one of the 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes, and optical images from the overview BLISS (Blanco Imaging of the Southern Sky Survey).

It turned out that re-defined the value of the redshift for a quasar is equal to 4,692, corresponds to the age of the Universe 1,247 billion years. The previous value of z % to 4.75: thus, the quasar was over 20 million years. The mass of the Central black hole, as determined by the method of reverberation mapping, amounted to 34 ± 6 billion solar masses, making it one of the most massive known to date.

New estimate of the bolometric luminosity J2157-3602 is equal to 1.6×1048 erg / sec, which is 40 percent from the limiting (Eddington), there is no evidence for possible strong gravitational lensing of quasars, as well as reason to believe that its luminosity (and hence black hole mass) is overrated. Thus, J2157-3602 is indeed a quasar with the greatest luminosity known to date.

The singularity of this quasar is that it contained a black hole at such a far distance, it requires quite a massive Bud: this, in turn, allows to impose the strongest constraint on the masses of the initial black holes and the speed of their growth in the early Universe. Less massive black holes, discovered at z > 7, still establish more restrictive and are inconsistent with the models. Scientists, however, believe that retrieving a large number of observations of quasars will allow to achieve progress in the understanding of the early stages of the growth of supermassive black holes.

Earlier we talked about how astronomers have detected the high-speed outflow of matter from the quasar, where was found a record of a distant blazar, and how scientists first identified the source of neutrinos of ultrahigh energies.

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