July 20, 2024

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James Webb Space Telescope captures ancient black hole dancing with colliding galaxies

James Webb Space Telescope captures ancient black hole dancing with colliding galaxies

Using the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have observed a dramatic “dance” between a supermassive black hole and two satellite galaxies. The observations could help scientists better understand how galaxies and supermassive black holes grew in the early universe.

This supermassive black hole is feeding on the surrounding matter, powering a quasar so bright that the James Webb Space Telescope sees it as it was less than a billion years after the Big Bang. The quasar, called PJ308-21, is located in an active galactic nucleus (AGN) in a galaxy in the process of merging with two massive satellite galaxies.