Publication details

A Candidate Supermassive Black Hole in a Gravitationally Lensed Galaxy at Z ≈ 10


KOVÁCS Orsolya Eszter BOGDÁN Ákos NATARAJAN Priyamvada WERNER Norbert AZADI Mojegan VOLONTERI Marta TREMBLAY Grant R. CHADAYAMMURI Urmila FORMAN William R. JONES Christine KRAFT Ralph P.

Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Astrophysical Journal Letters
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords High-redshift galaxies; X-ray active galactic nuclei; Gravitational lensing; Supermassive black holes; Galaxy clusters
Description While supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are widely observed in the nearby and distant Universe, their origin remains debated with two viable formation scenarios with light and heavy seeds. In the light seeding model, the seed of the first SMBHs form from the collapse of massive stars with masses of 10-100 M ?, while the heavy seeding model posits the formation of 104-5 M ? seeds from direct collapse. The detection of SMBHs at redshifts z ? 10, edging closer to their formation epoch, provides critical observational discrimination between these scenarios. Here, we focus on the JWST-detected galaxy, GHZ 9, at z ? 10 that is lensed by the foreground cluster, A2744. Based on 2.1 Ms deep Chandra observations, we detect a candidate X-ray active galactic nucleus (AGN), which is spatially coincident with the high-redshift galaxy, GHZ 9. The SMBH candidate is inferred to have a bolometric luminosity of ( 1.0 - 0.4 + 0.5 ) × 10 46 erg s - 1 , which corresponds to a black hole (BH) mass of ( 8.0 - 3.2 + 3.7 ) × 10 7 M ? assuming Eddington-limited accretion. This extreme mass at such an early cosmic epoch suggests the heavy seed origin for this BH candidate. Based on the Chandra and JWST discoveries of extremely high-redshift quasars, we have constructed the first simple AGN luminosity function extending to z ? 10. Comparison of this luminosity function with theoretical models indicates an overabundant z ? 10 SMBH population, consistent with a higher-than-expected seed formation efficiency.
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