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Found: The oldest known supermassive black hole in the universe

Thanks to the beacon-like glare of a quasar, astronomers have discovered the most distant supermassive black hole they’ve ever seen, carrying the mass of a whopping 800 million suns.The quasar J1342+0928, described in the journal Nature, sheds new light on a mysterious epoch near the dawn of the universe – and raises more questions about how such an enormous singularity could have formed just 690 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was a mere 5% of its current age.“Now that we are seeing it, we have to explain it,” said lead author Eduardo Bañados, an astrophysicist at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena. “And that is a big challenge for theorists right ...