“We don’t know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the universe,” Wolf said. “The hunt is on to find even faster-growing black holes.”
Wolf added that distant black holes like this one can help scientists study the early universe. Researchers can spot the shadows of other objects in front of the black holes, and their radiation also helps clear away obscuring gas.
With giant new ground-based telescopescurrently under construction, scientists will also be able to use bright, distant objects like this voracious black hole to measure the universe’s expansion, the researchers said.
The new work was accepted to the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.