Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes in the early universe

Subaru Telescope spots 13-billion-year-old quasars powered by black holes

Princeton University

Astronomers from Japan, Taiwan and Princeton University have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes that were formed when the universe was only 5 percent of its current age. Here, see an artist’s impression of a quasar. A supermassive black hole sits at the center, and the gravitational energy of material accreting onto it is released as light. Credit Image courtesy of Yoshiki Matsuoka

Astronomers from Japan, Taiwan and Princeton University have discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes in the distant universe, from a time when the universe was less than 10 percent of its present age.

“It is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to form so soon after the Big Bang,” said Michael Strauss, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University who is one of the co-authors of the study. “Understanding how black holes can form in the early universe, and just how common they are, is a challenge for our cosmological models.”

This finding increases the number of black holes known at that epoch considerably, and reveals, for the first time, how common they are early in the universe’s history. In addition, it provides new insight into the effect of black holes on the physical state of gas in the early universe in its first billion years. The research appears in a series of five papers published in The Astrophysical Journal and the Publications of the Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Supermassive black holes, found at the centers of galaxies, can be millions or even billions of times more massive than the sun. While they are prevalent today, it is unclear when they first formed, and how many existed in the distant early universe. A supermassive black hole becomes visible when gas accretes onto it, causing it to shine as a “quasar.”  Previous studies have been sensitive only to the very rare, most luminous quasars, and thus the most massive black holes. The new discoveries probe the population of fainter quasars, powered by black holes with masses comparable to most black holes seen in the present-day universe.

The research team used data taken with a cutting-edge instrument, “Hyper Suprime-Cam” (HSC), mounted on the Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, which is located on the summit of Maunakea in Hawaii. HSC has a gigantic field-of-view — 1.77 degrees across, or seven times the area of the full moon — mounted on one of the largest telescopes in the world. The HSC team is surveying the sky over the course of 300 nights of telescope time, spread over five years.

The team selected distant quasar candidates from the sensitive HSC survey data. They then carried out an intensive observational campaign to obtain spectra of those candidates, using three telescopes: the Subaru Telescope; the Gran Telescopio Canarias on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain; and the Gemini South Telescope in Chile. The survey has revealed 83 previously unknown very distant quasars. Together with 17 quasars already known in the survey region, the researchers found that there is roughly one supermassive black hole per cubic giga-light-year — in other words, if you chunked the universe into imaginary cubes that are a billion light-years on a side, each would hold one supermassive black hole.

The sample of quasars in this study are about 13 billion light-years away from the Earth; in other words, we are seeing them as they existed 13 billion years ago. As the Big Bang took place 13.8 billion years ago, we are effectively looking back in time, seeing these quasars and supermassive black holes as they appeared only about 800 million years after the creation of the (known) universe.

It is widely accepted that the hydrogen in the universe was once neutral, but was “reionized” — split into its component protons and electrons — around the time when the first generation of stars, galaxies and supermassive black holes were born, in the first few hundred million years after the Big Bang. This is a milestone of cosmic history, but astronomers still don’t know what provided the incredible amount of energy required to cause the reionization. A compelling hypothesis suggests that there were many more quasars in the early universe than detected previously, and it is their integrated radiation that reionized the universe.

“However, the number of quasars we observed shows that this is not the case,” explained Robert Lupton, a 1985 Princeton Ph.D. alumnus who is a senior research scientist in astrophysical sciences. “The number of quasars seen is significantly less than needed to explain the reionization.” Reionization was therefore caused by another energy source, most likely numerous galaxies that started to form in the young universe.

The present study was made possible by the world-leading survey ability of Subaru and HSC. “The quasars we discovered will be an interesting subject for further follow-up observations with current and future facilities,” said Yoshiki Matsuoka, a former Princeton postdoctoral researcher now at Ehime University in Japan, who led the study. “We will also learn about the formation and early evolution of supermassive black holes, by comparing the measured number density and luminosity distribution with predictions from theoretical models.”

Based on the results achieved so far, the team is looking forward to finding yet more distant black holes and discovering when the first supermassive black hole appeared in the universe.


The HSC collaboration includes astronomers from Japan, Taiwan and Princeton University. The HSC instrumentation and software were developed by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), the University of Tokyo, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), the Academia Sinica Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan (ASIAA), and Princeton University. Funding was contributed by the FIRST program from Japanese Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the Toray Science Foundation, NAOJ, Kavli IPMU, KEK, ASIAA, and Princeton University.

The results of the present study are published in the following five papers — the second paper in particular.

[1] “Discovery of the First Low-luminosity Quasar at z > 7”, by Yoshiki Matsuoka1, Masafusa Onoue2, Nobunari Kashikawa3,4,5, Michael A Strauss6, Kazushi Iwasawa7, Chien-Hsiu Lee8, Masatoshi Imanishi4,5, Tohru Nagao and 40 co-authors, including Princeton astrophysicists James Bosch, James Gunn, Robert Lupton and Paul Price, appeared in the Feb. 6 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 872 (2019), 2 (DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab0216).

[2] “Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). V. Quasar Luminosity Function and Contribution to Cosmic Reionization at z = 6,” appeared in the Dec. 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, 869 (2018), 150 (DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaee7a).

[3] “Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). IV. Discovery of 41 Quasars and Luminous Galaxies at 5.7 ? z ? 6.9,” was published July 3, 2018 in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 237 (2018), 5 (DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/aac724).

[4] “Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-Luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). II. Discovery of 32 quasars and luminous galaxies at 5.7 < z ? 6.8,” was published July 5, 2017 in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, 70 (2018), S35 (DOI: 10.1093/pasj/psx046).

[5] “Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). I. Discovery of 15 Quasars and Bright Galaxies at 5.7 < z < 6.9”, was published Aug. 25, 2016 in The Astrophysical Journal, 828 (2016), 26 (DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/828/1/26).

Public Release: 13-Mar-2019


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March 14, 2019 2:54 am

Ït is remarkable that such massive dense objects were able to be formed so soon after the big bang””

Not so remarkable if the Big Bang theory is not true, but that instead
Fred Hoyles “Steady State “theory was to turn out to be true. It then makes
perfect sense as the Universe was already there.


Reply to  Michael
March 14, 2019 8:36 am


(no comment)

Bryan A
Reply to  Hugs
March 14, 2019 2:37 pm

Whether Big Bang or Steady State prevails ….
Such dense objects are still possible in either model at almost any age.
For example see

Reply to  Bryan A
March 14, 2019 10:03 pm

LOL. I see what you’re saying.

I would say the model here is Big Bang followed by Big Collapse!

Reply to  Michael
March 14, 2019 9:41 am

. . . Fred Hoyles “Steady State “theory was to turn out to be true.

Fred Hoyle’s steady state universe can’t explain the CMBR. The Big Bang can.


Richard Patton
Reply to  Jim Masterson
March 14, 2019 4:55 pm

The steady state theory runs aground the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics (conservation of mass-energy, and entropy). It also runs aground the fact that it is impossible to traverse an infinite series (or stated otherwise you cannot have an infinite series of finite objects)

Alexander Feht
Reply to  Richard Patton
March 14, 2019 11:22 pm

Creationist Big Bang Theory runs atound pretty much every law of physics.
Fortunately, BBT crumbles before our eyes. And no, cosmic backround microwave radiation doesn’t support Big Bang, it actually contradicts it because it is not uniform, and is better explained by Hoyle-Narlicar hypothesis.

Reply to  Alexander Feht
March 15, 2019 4:30 am

And no, cosmic backround microwave radiation doesn’t support Big Bang, it actually contradicts it because it is not uniform . . . .

Nonsense. The steady state theory absolutely does not predict a CMBR. In 1948, George Gamow, Ralph Alpher, and Robert Herman predicted a temperature of around 10K from their Ylem theory–a big bang type theory.

The CMBR is extremely smooth. The anisotropies only occur at a few parts in 100,000. There must be some, or there wouldn’t be any galaxies or clusters of galaxies today. Some models of galaxy formation have been ruled out because the CMBR is so smooth.

Indeed, the theorists were getting worried because there were no variations in the CMBR found for a long time. Then the COBE satellite found some, BOOMERanG found more, and WMAP is the most detailed.


Paul Penrose
Reply to  Michael
March 14, 2019 11:23 am

“Steady State” also can’t explain why the universe seems to be expanding away from us in every direction we look. Even though it does create some new puzzles, the BB theory still explains more observations and has fewer problems than any of the others.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 14, 2019 12:20 pm

Paul, let me try to give you a little simple explanation about the expanding universe.

You see, “universe” actually means the observed part of The Universe.
(the main error in astronomy is not taking in account that there could be a lot more Universe
beyond our observing limit, where “the observed universe is The Universe” ends up to be indisputable)

It, the universe, the observed one, expands constantly because the speed of light is constant, and also as it being related and “driven”
by the Milky Way light traveling further into the Universe over time constantly.
The size of the universe, the observed one, is restricted to us by our point of observation, dependent from the age of the Milky Way Galaxy where “we and our point of observation” belongs.

The age of the universe or the BB time simply are pointers for the Milky Way galaxy age.

So there could be explanations for the expanding universe without BB or black holes etc. .

Besides the quasars mentioned here could very much be very early stage galaxies, considered as quasars simply due to their size compared to the Milky Way.
Just saying. When considering that the estimated size of our galaxy could carry a very very huge error, due to very wrong cosmic distance estimates…which have produced some thing like Dark matter.

Any way, just trying a show that there is a lot of ways to look at it.


Reply to  Michael
March 14, 2019 4:00 pm

Or if you blow up a huge black hole and get beside a lot of dust also many small black holes. Then they were there from the beginning. (If you blow up anything, it will not become 100% dust as they think of the bbang).

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 14, 2019 3:06 am

“The number of quasars seen is significantly less than needed to explain the reionization.” Reionization was therefore caused by another energy source, most likely numerous galaxies that started to form in the young universe.

Can anyone offer an explanation of how all these galaxies could have formed so quickly in the conditions prevailing in the hot early universe and then spawned all these quasars and supermassive black holes? The further back we look the more troubling this seems to get.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 14, 2019 11:26 am

I think it’s likely that our distance estimates of other galaxies, and therefore our estimates of the age of the universe, are off.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 14, 2019 10:14 pm

Yes, and when the James Webb telescope is launched in a few years (hopefully), we may be surprised that the known universe turns out to be much larger than what is currently thought. –i.e. we might have to postulate more than 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
March 15, 2019 5:57 am

Paul and NOAAprogrammer – that makes sense a lot of sense.

Incidentally, I thought a Canadian physicist worked out a prediction of a background temperature of the universe in the 1940s – long before the CMBR was found – on the assumption that the universe was far larger than we observe and arrived at a figure within 1 degree of the actual temperature.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
March 15, 2019 9:58 am

That begs the question, is the big bang theory constrained by the observer’s instruments of measure? Is it more of a mathematical solution based on limited knowledge? Not an expert – just asking.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 15, 2019 6:09 am

Quasars are not the cause of reionization of hydrogen. The most likely cause is stars because they are billions of times more numerous than quasars. The ionization energy of hydrogen is 13.6 eV and stars emit ultraviolet light up to 124 eV. More than enough energy to ionize hydrogen.

Around 400,000 years after big bang, the universe was cool enough to form atoms. The CMB is the black body radiation of these atoms. Hydrogen gas is the building block of star formation.

March 14, 2019 3:21 am

It seems cosmology and astronomy are probably the only honest sciences left. All the rest have either been taken over by the insidious green blob or polluted by large companies pushing their wares in all advertising using the catchphrases:

– “scientifically proven/studied/tested” (not proven to have been studied this way)
– “clinically proven/studied/tested” (ditto)
– “[invent and insert a sciency sounding term here] technology” (the current fad – a dumbbell can be gravity enhancing technology)
– “dermatologically tested” (yeah.. on skin because it’s skin cream!)

However, I no longer care for the likes of Degrasse-Tyson, Michio Kookoo, Brian Cox or Attenborough. I used to look up to those guys and either they’ve been bought and their careers/families threatened by the Climate Change™©® machine/Left-owned MSM, or simply threatened. They can’t be that stupid. If either is the case, what cowards they be and they know it.

Dan Sudlik
Reply to  ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
March 14, 2019 3:55 am

Wait, isn’t the science settled?

James Beaver
Reply to  ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
March 14, 2019 11:03 am

Those super black holes from billions of years ago are still Trumps fault. Never forget The Narrative.

Reply to  James Beaver
March 15, 2019 7:48 am

Black Holes Matter!

March 14, 2019 4:03 am

There is an excellent chance that astronomers are misinterpreting what is going on. It’s almost guaranteed that writers will misinterpret the astronomers.

A similar example would be desktop fusion where the experimenters observed anomalous heat and incorrectly attributed it to fusion.

Another example would be where you can make it look like radio waves are traveling faster than the speed of light. link If you don’t know what’s going on, the demonstration is convincing.

The other possibility is that we have a phenomenon that can’t be explained with physics as we know it. That would, of course, be the way that quantum physics got its start.

Peter Morris
March 14, 2019 4:35 am

The older I get, the more it seems like science is really just a way to catalogue what we don’t know, rather than the process of understanding and explaining what we don’t know.

And what we don’t know seems to grow more and more every year. It’s interesting to watch.

March 14, 2019 5:13 am

where do black holes go? if b.h.s are being formed on an ongoing basis over the course of the history of the Universe there’d have to be an awful awful lot of them by now. They should have sucked up everything, you’d think, wouldn’t you? I haven’t heard a good explanation of where they go, have you, has anyone? It’s like Pope Francis’ “souls of evil people just disintegrate”…they just “go away”. Where? and they – the black holes – would be taking an awful awful lot of compressed matter with them. Oh, I forgot, it explodes into another Universe, of course. How convenient. In other words, all these observations just add bits of data to the 4% of the Universe that we know about…like a madman collecting scraps of trash without any sense to it. It’s an absurdist play, that’s what it is, modern astronomy rooting in every corner without a clue as to how to fit the pieces together, No wonder their all quirky bonkers.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  mortimer zilch
March 14, 2019 11:34 am

Black holes haven’t gone anywhere. All the mass a black hole has accumulated is still there, making a huge dent in the fabric of space time, which is to say, why they have such enormous gravity. This also explains why they are “black”, because their gravity is so great that not even light can escape if it gets too close. But just because we can’t observe the singularity directly, does mean it has disappeared. In fact, we can detect its presence indirectly because of they way it affects its immediate surroundings – the quasar jets are just one observable effect.

Black holes have not “sucked everything up” because the universe is much bigger than you imagine.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 14, 2019 11:35 am

Argh! “does mean it has disappeared” above should be “does NOT mean it has disappeared”

I hate it when I re-read a post and still miss an obvious error like that.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 16, 2019 3:32 am

There is no guarantee that a given Super Massive black hole is just a deep “dent” in the fabric of space time. It could be a tear! And if it is a tear then yes, matter is disappearing from our known dimensions.

Tom Abbott
March 14, 2019 6:47 am

I love astronomy!

We have learned so much, and have so much more to learn. It’s an amazing universe. I feel blessed to be able to live in this era of discovery.

March 14, 2019 6:55 am

Thanks, very interesting. Kinda complicates the ideas of if, when & how black holes and galaxies co-evolved. Obvious now that some black holes formed very early.

March 14, 2019 7:04 am

Time to add a new epicycle to their model, it seems.
We need someone to propose a new model that would simplify all the problems associated with the Big Bang theory. I will offer one up as soon as I increase my IQ by a hundred points, or so.

March 14, 2019 7:25 am

My cerebral power has not sufficient bandwidth to filter out convincing conclusion

March 14, 2019 7:36 am

Anybody even check – all papers rightly identify, z, redshift, as the key observable. Then apply the settled science that it means doppler.
No matter what z is observed it will be forced like the Mad Hatter squeezing the Dormouse into the Teapot at the Party.
A quick look at Arp’s Seeing Red and quasar intrinsic redshifts , z, should show why it was decided to launch the James Webb Infrared telescope. Wait for the objects it will record!

Reply to  bonbon
March 14, 2019 9:46 am

Then apply the settled science that it means doppler.

If the frequency shift of the spectrum isn’t due to a Doppler shift, then what would cause it?


Reply to  Jim Masterson
March 15, 2019 1:46 am


As bonbon referenced, Arp considered that quasars were emitted from high energy galaxies much closer to us than the red shift implies. He speculated that there was a time scale that caused high red shift early in the ‘life’ of the newly formed protogalaxy. At the time of Arp’s work, black holes weren’t considered as an integral part of the core of a galaxy. He argued that the huge discrepancy in the brightness vs the red shift of a quasar collapsed once you allowed that case.

He also argued that quasars were formed in pairs along the axes of the proper class of galaxy and evolved into proper galaxies further along the polar path. He discovered several examples that were never acknowledged by the establishment. (All from recollection having read his work many years ago.)

Reply to  Jim Masterson
March 15, 2019 4:25 am

Arp himself proposed a hypothesis – Problem is to explain
1) discreet redshift values
2) change over spcetime as the qso evolves to bccome a normal looking galaxy
3) why qso’s seem to be ejected in jets, never mind that they seem to come from what we call supermassive black holes.
Apealling to Newton’s absolute space just will not clinch it. Gravitational relativistic redshift already shows it represents spacetime curvature.
How can such a large object as a qso have the same redshift over its entire extension? One way could be that the fine-structure “constant” varies with such objects.
Because of this the blue-shift of Andromeda could be intrinsic, that would mean our relative galactic redshift means we are younger than andromeda. Only last year they found andromeda mass to be off ba factor of 3 – settled science anyone?

Reply to  bonbon
March 15, 2019 5:01 am

Because of this the blue-shift of Andromeda could be intrinsic, that would mean our relative galactic redshift means we are younger than andromeda.

The Milky Way has globular clusters which are around 12.7 billion years old. That would put a limit on the Milky Way’s youthful age.


Reply to  Jim Masterson
March 15, 2019 6:47 am

I wonder if anyone tried to measure the redshift of those (~200 now)? Metallicity ?

“The discovery of stellar clusters far away from the disc suggests that the Galactic halo is more actively forming stars than previously thought. Moreover, since most young clusters do not survive for more than five million years, the halo may be raining stars into the disc. The halo harbors generations of stars formed in clusters like those hereby detected,” Camargo said.

Reply to  Jim Masterson
March 15, 2019 10:53 am

I wonder if anyone tried to measure the redshift of those (~200 now)? Metallicity ?

Globular cluster stars are population II stars with low metallicity. The white dwarfs in the cluster indicate their age too–assuming all the stars in a cluster are roughly the same age. The universe is too young for any white dwarf to become a black dwarf–although black dwarfs would be extremely hard to detect.


Walter Sobchak
March 14, 2019 7:42 am

“Subaru Telescope spots 13-billion-year-old quasars powered by black holes”

I wonder how many they would have found if they had used Lexus instead?

March 14, 2019 8:13 am

I sometimes wonder if they’re not seeing “white” holes instead of “black”. In other words they’re spewing out energy instead of absorbing it. if course that might mess with the consensus.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Bear
March 14, 2019 10:44 am


“Material, such as gas, dust and other stellar debris that has come close to a black hole but not quite fallen into it, forms a flattened band of spinning matter around the event horizon called the accretion disk (or disc). Although no-one has ever actually seen a black hole or even its event horizon, this accretion disk can be seen, because the spinning particles are accelerated to tremendous speeds by the huge gravity of the black hole, releasing heat and powerful x-rays and gamma rays out into the universe as they smash into each other”

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 14, 2019 11:21 am

I understand the definition of a black hole. The question is if these quasars are actually black holes since they’re claiming that present theory doesn’t account for them existing at that time since the BB. White holes have been theorized before. If particle are being accelerated as they exit the white hole then they might superficially appear to be the same as a black hole.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Bear
March 14, 2019 11:40 am

White holes are sci-fi fantasy. The energy has to come from somewhere, so every possible “theory” of white holes has to concoct even more bizarre explanations of where that comes from. Sorry, I’m not buying it. Dark matter and dark energy are on solid foundations by comparison.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 14, 2019 12:58 pm

So something we can’t detect is on a solid foundation? You mean like tachyons, lol? How about the BB itself? Where does that energy come from? How about virtual particles where does that energy come from and the calculations show infinite energy densities?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 14, 2019 2:55 pm

I said, “on solid foundations by comparison”. Maybe it was too subtle for you, so let me spell it out: I don’t think dark matter and dark energy are very good theories. I just think those theories have less problems than white holes do. I also have my reservations about tacyons and virtual particles because like white holes, they don’t seem fit in with the current laws of physics as we understand them.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 14, 2019 5:06 pm

From what I understand, Dark matter and Dark Energy, are to the BB theory what epicycles were to Ptolemaic system of astronomy-kludgy patches to make it work

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Bear
March 14, 2019 12:00 pm

Of course you have to figure out what would cause that exit acceleration.

March 14, 2019 9:03 am

Why everything needs to be contextualized through an unproven theory is beyond me.

Can’t they just stick to what they find and identify and can’t they get better at identifying what they don’t know and clearly express those unknowns?

Big Bang and CAGW, same fight in the end.

Reply to  Dhémaïus
March 14, 2019 9:37 am

Why everything needs to be contextualized through an unproven theory is beyond me.

Everything in science is conjectures, hypotheses, unproven laws, and unproven theories. If you want proven theories, then there’s mathematics.


Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Dhémaïus
March 14, 2019 10:48 am

“Big Bang and CAGW, same fight in the end.”

Nobody is proposing to quadruple the price of electricity because of the big bang.

March 14, 2019 9:05 am

2500 years ago Archimedes started craze of calculating ‘pi’ and today we got report that some mad Japanese lady calculated it to length of 31 trillion digits.

Reply to  vuk
March 14, 2019 12:29 pm

Do you know how to calculate “pi?”

I haven’t been able to find a way.

Reply to  Gamecock
March 14, 2019 2:51 pm

Of course you can do it with a circle and it’s diameter,but you will not get very far.
If you wish to test your pc you can try this:
Make two columns in which you divide 4 by odd numbers.
In first column you have 4/1, 4/5, 4/9 etc
In second column 4/3, 4/7, 4/11 etc
When you gone as far as you wish make sums of each column and substract second from the first. Easily done using Excel or any other spreadsheet.
Good luck 🙂

March 14, 2019 9:39 am

The Subaru brand and iconic logo were named after the Pleiades star cluster (Pleiades translates to Subaru in Japanese).

Quite naturally, Subaru logo embraced the graphic representation of the star cluster. At the same time, the biggest star symbolized the parental company Fuji Heavy Industries, while the other five stars represented the companies that merged to create it, including the automobile division, the aerospace division, the Subaru Industrial Power Products division, the eco technology division and the buses and railroad cars division.


March 14, 2019 10:16 am

The microwave background radiation is thought to hark from 380,000 thousand years after the big singularity. It appears to show only very minor fluctuations in density. It is believed that prior to the MBR the universe was so hot and ionized that electromagnetic radiation (light) was impossible, and prior to this beginning of the “radiation dominated” phase, the universe is dark to electromagnetic astronomy.

That we get supermassive black holes in just another 400,000 years underlines how poorly we understand gravity and the “matter dominated” phase of the universe. The Higgs field is believed to break the symmetry, slow particles down, and essentially create matter. It must have been in fine form very early on.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Gordon Lehman
March 15, 2019 7:18 am

The supermassive black holes came 800 million years after big bang, not 800,000 years. Earliest stars formed around 200 million years after BB

Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
March 15, 2019 9:06 am

Oops, thanks.

March 14, 2019 10:37 am

The Death of the Big Bang!

Reply to  mwhite
March 15, 2019 2:31 am

This guy has no clue. The CMBR radiates from all directions with a near perfect black body curve. Black body radiation is well defined physics. The BB curve matches a radiating body at 2.72548±0.00057 K. That’s where they get the temperature from.


Richard G.
Reply to  Jim Masterson
March 15, 2019 3:35 pm

Way to not rebut Robitaille’s argument on the evidence. Did you listen to the evidence? Robitaille, the designer of the world’s first Ultra High Field MRI scanner, and you call him clueless? Do you really think he does not understand Microwave spectroscopy and black body thermal emissions?
“Kirchhoff’s Law of Thermal Emission: What Happens When a Law of Physics Fails an Experimental Test?”

If you can handle having your assumptions challenged by detailed mathematical evidence, watch his video on the 4th law of thermodynamics. (and his linked videos on the Zeroth, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Laws) Then rebut it. I am no expert in thermodynamics so please enlighten me as to where his math is wrong. It looks like he has shredded gravitational collapse and many other foundational aspects of astrophysics as violations of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

He may be wrong, but if he is right the universe of astrophysics trembles, Black holes big bang and all. Remember, if consensus rules science then the Sun would still orbit the Earth.

Richard G.
Reply to  Richard G.
March 15, 2019 6:42 pm

As to CMBR, Dr. Robitaille states: “It Takes a physical lattice to produce a thermal spectrum. No physical lattice existed in the Big Bang and that is why that signal was never produced by a primordial explosion.”

Jim says: “Black body radiation is well defined physics. The BB curve matches a radiating body at 2.72548±0.00057 K.”
So this raises the question: In the Big Bang, what ‘body’ is radiating if the primordial universe had no condensed matter or chemical lattice structure. Hydrogen emits in a discrete band width, not a full black body spectrum. Help me out here. These are contradictions. I don’t pretend to know.

Reply to  Richard G.
March 16, 2019 6:00 am

Help me out here. These are contradictions. I don’t pretend to know.

The Sun radiates a reasonably good black body spectrum at about 7000K–all stars radiate similar BB spectrums at their characteristic temperatures. Since the Sun is a ball of plasma, where’s the crystal lattice? Some statements are just nonsense.

The CMBR dates to a time when the entire universe was 3000K. Before that, all radiation was trapped–like it is in the Sun. It takes radiation between 500,000 to million years to escape the Sun from its core.

Hydrogen is opaque above 3000K. Below that, hydrogen becomes transparent. The CMBR dates to a time when hydrogen becomes transparent for the first time. Its called recombination–a physics term for when ionized gases become unionized.


Reply to  Richard G.
March 16, 2019 6:16 am

. . . watch his video on the 4th law of thermodynamics.

I did. It’s an interesting idea, but it has problems. The first one is his statement that velocity is an intensive property. Thermodynamic properties are usually scalars. Velocity is a vector quantity. A system of gas particles has a single, intensive temperature. That temperature is due the motion of all the gas particles. Each particle has its own vector velocity. If velocity is an intensive property, I can’t add these individual velocities to get a single velocity.

Take the equation:

\displaystyle K.E.=\frac{1}{2}\cdot m\cdot {{v}^{2}}.

Kinetic energy is an extensive property. Mass is an extensive property. If velocity is an intensive property, then this equation is invalid? Seriously!


Reply to  Richard G.
March 16, 2019 6:56 am

. . . He may be wrong, but if he is right the universe of astrophysics trembles . . . .

The equation for escape velocity is:

\displaystyle {{v}_{e}}=\sqrt{\frac{2\cdot G\cdot M}{r}}.

If I can’t divide by radius, then this equation is invalid? I’m sorry, but this guy needs to go back to the drawing board. Nobody is trembling in astrophysics due to his comments.


March 14, 2019 12:33 pm

‘powered by supermassive black holes’

I don’t like this terminology. Massive means “large.” Supermassive should mean extra large. Black holes are not large. They are small. Supersmall.

Bryan A
Reply to  Gamecock
March 14, 2019 2:42 pm

Mass is more a factor of weight rather than size in this case.
Supermassive in this case means super heavy rather than super large with the potential size increase from increased weight being countered by increased gravity

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
March 14, 2019 2:52 pm

An example would be the weight of materials as grams per cubic cm
Water weighs 1g per cu cm
Gold weighs 19g per cu cm

The average density of a neutron star is immense: about 400 trillion grams per cubic centimeter (a cube the size of a six-sided die). There are about 250 million cars in the US. Assuming they weigh about 1500 kilograms on average, that’s a total of just about 400 trillion grams

Yet all are just a cubic cm in size

And a Black Hole is far heavier

Reply to  Bryan A
March 14, 2019 3:48 pm

Forgive my simplicity Bryan,
but since when do Black Holes consist as in the means or consideration of having mass or energy, as per the basic definition in basic physics of mass and energy?

Maybe because I am not learned enough, but as far as I can tell B.H are not made of matter,
mass or energy, no any scalable space-time signature, as far as I can tell… in the basic concept and the meaning of B.H.


Bryan A
Reply to  whiten
March 14, 2019 7:17 pm

Everything that has Gravity has Mass as gravity and mass are directly related.
Though the effect of gravity will also be dependent on your relative distance to the gravity source’s center of mass.
For example, Mercury has a radius of 1,516k and a Mass of 3.285 × 10^23 kg
While Mars has a radius of 4,212k and a Mass of 6.39 × 10^23 kg
Mars weighs almost twice what Mercury does but because it is almost 3 times the diameter, the surface gravity is nearly identical. In both cases, if you weigh 200lbs here you would weigh only 76lbs on either planet.
As far as the BH at the Galactic Center goes, we estimate it’s mass by the effect it’s gravity has on the stars in direct orbit around it. The movie on this page from the Max Planck Institute ( ) shows the central few arc seconds of the Galactic Core while this 3d simulation also depicts the same space
( )
We can thereby estimate the mass of the Massive Black Hole at the center of the Galaxy from its effect on the stars in orbit around and most directly influenced by it.

Reply to  whiten
March 15, 2019 1:29 pm

Bryan A
March 14, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Everything that has Gravity has Mass as gravity and mass are directly related.
Exactly Bryan, that how it is in the Newtonian and Einstein’s physics.
But not in the BH physics….
BH physics consider Gravity outside the scalable time-space physics signature, with no mass, matter or energy concept related to consider in the given issue or matter …
weird isn’t it?!

Do you understand the point I am making?

In matters of physics by definition BH consist as cockodo science.

Backward and silly logic does not pay off.

simple as that in me book.

No way that “super massive” or “super heavier” BH make any sense, in any basic physics.

Is a backward rationale, that makes no sense…
Complete bollocks in my book, but hey you have your own book too, as every one else there….

Let me try to explain my point again.
In the very basics of BH, there is no mass no matter and no energy to consider in the basic concept…
now how can you or any one else connect gravity in the given condition when still it is dependent in relation of mass, matter and energy…
this is beyond me pay-grade!

No mass, no matter and no energy to consider in the means of basic concept and definition, no connection to the Gravity or the force of it, as per Newtonian and Einstein’s physics…period.

But hey… every thing goes and could apply in the land of backwardness.
Or maybe I do misunderstand the main point or the gist of it all.

In the end, all trying in my part only to do with further attempting to better my understanding…
still will appreciate any possible offered feedback with it…no hard feelings.

thanks BryanA
(in the end I may end up to regret all this 🙂 )


Christopher D Hoff
March 14, 2019 1:06 pm

Maybe the missing mass of the universe was all sucked up by black holes shortly after or even during the big bang.

Richard Patton
March 14, 2019 4:49 pm

It’s nice to see scientists humble enough to say ‘this doesn’t fit the theory,’ ‘we don’t understand.’ in contrast to the CAGW “scientists” who say the science is settled.

Johann Wundersamer
March 14, 2019 10:32 pm

In other words, if you chunked the universe into imaginary cubes that are a billion light-years on a side, each would hold one supermassive black hole.

In other words ’nuff dark matter for 1 universe.

Johann Wundersamer
March 14, 2019 10:41 pm

still don’t know what provided the incredible amount of energy required to cause the reionization.

Neutron stars have time and patience to re-ionize the interstellar space.

March 15, 2019 4:41 am

It is very strange but physics MSM has not listened to the master black hole expert himself, Steven Hawking.
Have a look at this 2014 bombshell on arxiv :
Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes
He clearly states there based on current physics there are no black holes!

In fact he hcame to the same conclusion an Einstein, from a completely different direction, information theory. Einstein’s famous observation is less known – total collapse is not possible as time would stop meaning no possibility of change, relativistically impossible. There are massive objects indeed, just not “holes” and not inert, “dead”. In fact we see Quasars being ejected from their neighborhoods with discreet redshifts.

It looks like now Hawking will get the same MSM treatment they gave Einstein – adore his very shoes, never discuss his insights.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  bonbon
March 15, 2019 6:44 am

Hawking wrote:
“The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes – in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity. There are however apparent horizons which persist for a period of time. This suggests that black holes should be redefined as metastable bound states of the gravitational field.”

My reading of this is black holes are a temporary state so light will eventually escape from them. This is also my view. The particle annihilation mechanism for Hawking radiation is problematic. I’m developing a different mechanism using quantum tunneling, quark and gluon degeneracy.

Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
March 15, 2019 7:01 am

Further, Hawking wrote there : “The chaotic collapsed object will radiate deterministically but chaotically. It will be like weather forecasting on Earth. That is unitary, but chaotic, so there is effective information loss. One can’t predict the weather more than a few days in advance.

Could it be this is why the so-called climate models are only good for a few days?

Of course chaotic weather means relatively harmless storms etc. but a chaotic “black-hole” likely means Quasar ejection, it could ruin your entire time-dilated day!

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