Black holes and galaxies close to our own may hold answers to questions around the origins of the universe that have stumped human brains since time began.
A black hole – called Tol 0440-381 – in a nearby galaxy shines around one million times brighter than the sun, according to rresearchers from the University of Iowa.
This staggering power suggests that black holes may made a significant contribution to cosmic evolution, according to the researchers.
For some hundreds of thousands of years after the Big Bang, the universe, then lacking stars, was a much darker place than it is today.
This changed around 400,000 years after the Big Bang, when stars first formed and lights began to flicker across the cosmos for the first time.
These original stars were around 30 to 300 times the size of the sun, and millions of times brighter, according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
These gargantuan hydrogen and helium furnaces had a lifespan of a few million years before exploding, or becoming supernovae in technical terms.
The consequences of these unimaginably powerful stellar forces are hard to fathom, but the researchers said they are likely far-reaching.
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The supernovae would have emitted profound energy into space, which would have been powerful enough to split hydrogen atoms into electrons and protons, ushering in a new phase in the history of the universe.
The early inklings of this new epoch were the first stars and galaxies in the universe, and it would last around one billion years after the Big Bang.
While this is all plausible theoretically speaking, Scientists are still murky on the specifics.
They are hoping that the James Webb telescope, equipped with next-generation technology, and which arrived at its orbital destination in space on Monday 24 January, 2022, will help to provide some answers.
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