Distant Black Hole Caught Eating

by | December 27, 2023, 12:20 PM | Galaxies & Cosmology

LST-1 during observations at CTAO-North, La Palma, Spain. Credit: CTAO gGmbH. Credit: CTAO gGmbH

Astronomy is theoretically the study of how our universe formed, evolved, and will one day die. But to get answers to those high-concept questions, we need to start by just seeing what is out there. What is the biggest? What is the smallest? What is the nearest? And what is the farthest? And what is everything in between? Cataloging everything is really where it all has to start.

And sometimes cataloging finds some pretty cool stuff.  

The Large-Sized Telescope has installed its first telescope in the Canary Islands, and that telescope has detected gamma-ray light coming from a distant galaxy. This indicates the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole is actively feeding on a surrounding disk of material. This is only the tenth system detected giving off light at energies higher than 100GeV, and this is the most distant active galaxy ever found. It was found while this telescope was still being commissioned, so this is the telescope’s first-ever discovery.

I now can’t wait to see what this cool new system can do when it’s fully constructed.