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Title: An 800-million-solar-mass black hole in a significantly neutral Universe at a redshift of 7.5

Abstract

Quasars are the most luminous non-transient objects known and as a result they enable studies of the Universe at the earliest cosmic epochs. Despite extensive efforts, however, the quasar ULAS J1120 + 0641 at redshift z = 7.09 has remained the only one known at z > 7 for more than half a decade. Here we report observations of the quasar ULAS J134208.10 + 092838.61 (hereafter J1342 + 0928) at redshift z = 7.54. This quasar has a bolometric luminosity of 4 × 10 13 times the luminosity of the Sun and a black-hole mass of 8 × 10 8 solar masses. The existence of this supermassive black hole when the Universe was only 690 million years old—just five per cent of its current age—reinforces models of early black-hole growth that allow black holes with initial masses of more than about 104 solar masses or episodic hyper-Eddington accretion. We see strong evidence of absorption of the spectrum of the quasar redwards of the Lyman α emission line (the Gunn–Peterson damping wing), as would be expected if a significant amount (more than 10 per cent) of the hydrogen in the intergalactic medium surrounding J1342 + 0928 is neutral. We derive suchmore » a significant fraction of neutral hydrogen, although the exact fraction depends on the modelling. However, even in our most conservative analysis we find a fraction of more than 0.33 (0.11) at 68 per cent (95 per cent) probability, indicating that we are probing well within the reionization epoch of the Universe.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [10]
  1. The Observatories of the Carnegie Inst. for Science, Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. Max Planck Inst. für Astronomie, Heidelberg (Germany)
  3. Peking Univ., Beijing (China)
  4. Max Planck Inst. für Astronomie, Heidelberg (Germany); Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Bologna (Italy)
  5. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), La Canada Flintridge, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
  6. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  7. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  8. MIT-Kavli Center for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge, MA (United States)
  9. MIT-Kavli Center for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge, MA (United States); Las Cumbres Observatory, Goleta, CA (United States)
  10. Inst. de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM), Saint Martin d’Hères (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1543732
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature (London)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 553; Journal Issue: 7689; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-0836
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Science & Technology - Other Topics

Citation Formats

Bañados, Eduardo, Venemans, Bram P., Mazzucchelli, Chiara, Farina, Emanuele P., Walter, Fabian, Wang, Feige, Decarli, Roberto, Stern, Daniel, Fan, Xiaohui, Davies, Frederick B., Hennawi, Joseph F., Simcoe, Robert A., Turner, Monica L., Rix, Hans-Walter, Yang, Jinyi, Kelson, Daniel D., Rudie, Gwen C., and Winters, Jan Martin. An 800-million-solar-mass black hole in a significantly neutral Universe at a redshift of 7.5. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/nature25180.
Bañados, Eduardo, Venemans, Bram P., Mazzucchelli, Chiara, Farina, Emanuele P., Walter, Fabian, Wang, Feige, Decarli, Roberto, Stern, Daniel, Fan, Xiaohui, Davies, Frederick B., Hennawi, Joseph F., Simcoe, Robert A., Turner, Monica L., Rix, Hans-Walter, Yang, Jinyi, Kelson, Daniel D., Rudie, Gwen C., & Winters, Jan Martin. An 800-million-solar-mass black hole in a significantly neutral Universe at a redshift of 7.5. United States. doi:10.1038/nature25180.
Bañados, Eduardo, Venemans, Bram P., Mazzucchelli, Chiara, Farina, Emanuele P., Walter, Fabian, Wang, Feige, Decarli, Roberto, Stern, Daniel, Fan, Xiaohui, Davies, Frederick B., Hennawi, Joseph F., Simcoe, Robert A., Turner, Monica L., Rix, Hans-Walter, Yang, Jinyi, Kelson, Daniel D., Rudie, Gwen C., and Winters, Jan Martin. Wed . "An 800-million-solar-mass black hole in a significantly neutral Universe at a redshift of 7.5". United States. doi:10.1038/nature25180. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1543732.
@article{osti_1543732,
title = {An 800-million-solar-mass black hole in a significantly neutral Universe at a redshift of 7.5},
author = {Bañados, Eduardo and Venemans, Bram P. and Mazzucchelli, Chiara and Farina, Emanuele P. and Walter, Fabian and Wang, Feige and Decarli, Roberto and Stern, Daniel and Fan, Xiaohui and Davies, Frederick B. and Hennawi, Joseph F. and Simcoe, Robert A. and Turner, Monica L. and Rix, Hans-Walter and Yang, Jinyi and Kelson, Daniel D. and Rudie, Gwen C. and Winters, Jan Martin},
abstractNote = {Quasars are the most luminous non-transient objects known and as a result they enable studies of the Universe at the earliest cosmic epochs. Despite extensive efforts, however, the quasar ULAS J1120 + 0641 at redshift z = 7.09 has remained the only one known at z > 7 for more than half a decade. Here we report observations of the quasar ULAS J134208.10 + 092838.61 (hereafter J1342 + 0928) at redshift z = 7.54. This quasar has a bolometric luminosity of 4 × 1013 times the luminosity of the Sun and a black-hole mass of 8 × 108 solar masses. The existence of this supermassive black hole when the Universe was only 690 million years old—just five per cent of its current age—reinforces models of early black-hole growth that allow black holes with initial masses of more than about 104 solar masses or episodic hyper-Eddington accretion. We see strong evidence of absorption of the spectrum of the quasar redwards of the Lyman α emission line (the Gunn–Peterson damping wing), as would be expected if a significant amount (more than 10 per cent) of the hydrogen in the intergalactic medium surrounding J1342 + 0928 is neutral. We derive such a significant fraction of neutral hydrogen, although the exact fraction depends on the modelling. However, even in our most conservative analysis we find a fraction of more than 0.33 (0.11) at 68 per cent (95 per cent) probability, indicating that we are probing well within the reionization epoch of the Universe.},
doi = {10.1038/nature25180},
journal = {Nature (London)},
number = 7689,
volume = 553,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

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