Supermassive black holes have been a mystery to scientists in the past. Although, infrared technology on the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope is providing new insights into these astronomical phenomena. Unlike telescopes on Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope is able to see past all of the cosmic dust to present a clearer picture of the universe. Since it takes snapshots of the universe throughout time, researchers are able to study smaller black holes, also known as baby black holes. With this new information, scientists can better understand the lifespan of a supermassive black hole and understand how its presence affects our galaxy.
- A ground-based telescope recently captured images of a black hole in our galaxy, but the JWST could do more.
- The JWST has infrared instruments that can see through dust that currently obscures black holes from ground observation.
- The JWST may also help us study black hole “seeds” that grow into supermassive black holes.
“But JWST’s biggest discoveries are still yet to come and may not be quite so picture-perfect when studying the origins of ancient supermassive black holes (SMBH) lurking in the inky darkness all around us.”