Podcaster: Rob Sparks. Guest: Xiaohui Fan

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Title: The Earliest Supermassive Black Hole and Quasar

Organization: NOIRLab

Links: ; @NOAONorth; ; ; ; ; ; @NOIRLabAstro


Quasars are very distant and luminous objects powered by supermassive black holes containing many millions or even billions of times the mass of our Sun. Even with the immense energy they put out, their vast distances make them difficult to discover and observe. In this podcast, the University of Arizona’s Xiaohui Fan discusses the discovery of the most distant supermassive black hole and quasar discovery and what we can learn from these objects about the early history of the universe.

Bio: Rob Sparks is a science education specialist in the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) group at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and works on the Galileoscope project (, providing design, dissemination and professional development. He blogs at

Xiaohui Fan is the Regents’ Professor of Astronomy and Associate Department Head in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. His research interests include the earliest galaxies and quasars in the universe and the epoch of reionization.

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