Observations from the light from the quasar indicate another curiosity: This object resided when roughly half the universe’s hydrogen was neutral. That places it right in the center of the reionization epoch, once the light from the first celestial objects burned away the Ancient fog.
The lack of light sources throughout the Ancient causes it to be hard to probe this era with telescopes. The hydrogen fog further complicates matters. Bañados states it’s as if someone experienced the universe’s childhood picture album and ripped the images of its most childhood.
This condition of matters lasted for vast sums of years. Yet in this inscrutable period, the world as you may know it emerged. Gravity pulled hydrogen in to the first gas clouds, that the very first stars were born. Rays in the recently created objects broke hydrogen atoms apart to their constituent particles — protons and electrons — finally dispelling the chilly fog.
Eduardo Bañados had three nights to place something which may not even exist: a supermassive black hole near to the early days.
The only real type of radiation would be a very weak hydrogen glow.
That hope is exactly what drove Bañados, an astronomer in the Carnegie Observatories in California, towards the Chilean mountaintop in March. It wasn’t entirely obvious whether he’d manage to find a quasar to date away. Supermassive black holes swallow up immeasureable matter, squeezing the same mass of countless hundred 1000 suns right into a space so small that gravity wraps around it as an invisibility cloak and results in it to completely disappear. An item like this requires a lengthy time for you to grow and much more matter than may have been obtainable in the youthful world.
The Ancient started a couple of hundred 1000 years following the Big Bang, when the hot particle slurry that constituted the first world condensed into atoms.
In the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, perched high atop a mountain within the world’s driest desert, he scanned for that signature of the massive, invisible sinkhole on the horizon slurping up a whirlpool of brilliant, hot matter.