Transcripts of 12454_Fermi_Distant_Blazars

[Music] Thanks to emissions powered by monster black holes, galaxies called blazars rank among the most luminous objects in the universe. They're also the most common sources of high-energy light seen by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Like all active galaxies, a blazar gets its energy from matter falling toward a central supermassive black hole. A small part of this material forms particle jets that travel outward in opposite directions at near the speed of light. What makes blazars so intense is that we happen to be looking almost directly down the jet. Now, Fermi team members have identified five of the most distant gamma-ray blazars known. The record holder emitted its light when the universe was just one-tenth its current age. That object hosts a black hole with a mass of about 3 billion suns. That's 750 times bigger than the black hole at the heart of our own galaxy. Another of these distant blazars boasts a black hole more than twice this size. In fact, the observed properties of all five of these blazars show they're the most extreme known members of this extreme galaxy class. The discovery makes it clear that enormous black holes formed very early in cosmic history, but astronomers aren't sure how. In general it's thought that large galaxies--and their black holes--were built up over time through a series of mergers with other smaller galaxies. It is unknown exactly how mergers can build a billion-solar-mass black hole before the universe is much more than one billion years old. But after netting five of these extreme blazars, researchers hope to find more of them in Fermi data. These objects allow scientists to map out how the most powerful jets in the universe evolved over cosmic time scales. And scientists hope that additional examples will help them better understand how supermassive black holes developed so rapidly in the early universe. [Music] [Music][Beeping] [Beeping] [Beeping]