Astronomers have spotted a super-sized black hole in the early universe that grew much faster than its host galaxy. The discovery challenges previous notions about the way host galaxies grow in relation to black holes and casts doubt on earlier suggestions that the radiation emitted by expanding black holes curtails the creation of stars.
The ghostly shells of galaxy ESO 381-12 are captured here in a new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, set against a backdrop of distant galaxies. Some 270 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus, ESO 381-12 is categorised as a lenticular galaxy — a hybrid type that shares properties with both spiral and elliptical galaxies.
Regarded as one of the most majestic of all of the galaxies in the Universe is the Sombrero, 28 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. This spiral galaxy’s notable features are its thick, torus-like disc with a dark, duty rim and the intense, bulbous, white glow that emanates from its core.
An international team of astronomers has pushed back the cosmic frontier of galaxy exploration to a time when the universe was only 5 percent of its present age with the discovery of an exceptionally luminous galaxy more than 13 billion light-years from Earth. The galaxy existed so long ago, it appears to be only 100 million years old.