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Black Holes vs. Galaxies: A Race for First Place in the Early Universe.

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Our universe formed 13.5 billion years ago with a bang, but for many years Astronomers were curious to know what formed first: either blackholes or galaxies and many Hubble space observations showed that and they assumed that galaxies formed first and many would have assumed the same logic. Almost every galaxy holds a super massive blackhole at its center.

But there is a twist, the recent JWST observations have completely changed our understanding. The results surprised everyone. According to it, blackholes existed during the first 50 million years of our cosmic history. Quite surprising,right? Even this is even more ancient riddle than the one about the chicken or the egg.

These supermassive blackholes are thought to have accelerated the galaxies rates of stars formation and as a result influencing the evolution of the entire universe. This challenges the idea that blackholes formed only after first stars and galaxies emerged.

John Silk, a professor at Johns Hopkins University says,” We know these monster black holes exist at the center of galaxies near our Milky Way, but the big surprise now is that they were present at the beginning of the universe as well and were almost like building blocks or seeds for early galaxies, They really boosted everything, like gigantic amplifiers of star formation, which is a whole turnaround of what we thought possible before — so much so that this could completely shake up our understanding of how galaxies form.”

Currently, our theories say that early universe black holes were born when highly massive stars ran out of their fuel supplies needed for nuclear fusion. In turn, those stars would’ve collapsed and created black holes in later epochs of the universe. This means the black holes would have had to come after the formation of the stars that birthed them, as well as before the galaxies formation.

The immense gravitational influence of blackholes means that nothing can escape its our boundary i.e the event horizon, which means what lies beyond this boundary can’t be seen. But beyond it as well, strange things do happen. A black hole’s gravity crushes everyone whichever material comes closer to it, heating it to millions of degrees and causes it to glow or blasted out at near light speeds as jets or winds. This is also known as active galactic nuclei when black holes actively feeding on matter that can power it.

Astronomers think that blackholes act as “cosmic particle accelerators” which enabled the JWST to spot so many in the early universe. “We can’t quite see these violent winds or jets far, far away, but we know they must be present because we see many black holes early on in the universe,” Silk explained. “These enormous winds coming from the black holes crush nearby gas clouds and turn them into stars. That’s the missing link that explains why these first galaxies are so much brighter than we expected.”

What would have happened was that when the universe was around a few million years old, massive gas clouds would have been forced to collapse because of intense magnetic storms created by supermassive blackholes and this would have resulted a new thread of intense and rapid star formation.

This is just a start, the future JWST observations will give us more insights about this theory. The 10 billion $ observatory has completely changed our understanding of the cosmos. With its infrared capabilities, it has overshadowed our old theories of the universe formation. 

Black Holes vs. Galaxies: A Race for First Place in the Early Universe.

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