ESO’s Very Large Telescope Detected Six Galaxy Close to a Supermassive Black Hole

very large telescope discovery

Astronomers used ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) made quite the discovery. They found six galaxies very close to a supermassive black hole when the Universe was almost one billion years old. 

The recent discovery marks the first time such a close grouping has been spotted so soon after the Big Bang event. It will also help astronomers better understand how supermassive black holes evolved. Here is what you need to know.

The Most Challenging Space Objects Are Now Examined

The recent research was mainly realized to feed the desire to understand more about supermassive black holes in the early Universe. For these challenging space objects, astronomers still don’t have an explanation. 

However, the new observations with ESO’s VLT unveiled several galaxies too close to a supermassive black hole, all lying in a so-called “cosmic spider-web” of gas. The light from this web-like system had traveled to us from a period when the Universe was just 0.9 billion years old. 

“The galaxies stand and grow where the filaments cross, and streams of gas […] can flow along the filaments,” detailed Marco Mignoli, an astronomer at the INAF in Bologna, Italy, and the lead author of the recent research. 

Web-like Systems Features: How Did They Form?

According to astronomers, giant halos of mysterious dark matter play an essential role in web-like systems’ formation. These huge areas of invisible matter are believed to attract large amounts of gas in the early Universe. And together, the invisible dark matter and the gas can produce the web-like systems where black holes and galaxies can evolve.

The recently detected galaxies are considered one of the faintest ever observed. Astronomers needed to perform observations over several hours utilizing the biggest optical telescopes available, such as ESO’s VLT. But, the MUSE and FORS2 also proved to be helpful. 

The results contribute to astronomers’ understanding of how supermassive black holes and massive cosmic systems formed and evolved. 

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