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The Most Distant, Oldest Black Hole In the Universe Still Runs in 8-Bits

Illustration for article titled The Most Distant, Oldest Black Hole In the Universe Still Runs in 8-Bits

Behold, the most distant black hole in the Universe. But don't hold it too tight or it will suck you right in, with all its suckity sucking 1980s 8-bit powers. This black hole has the mass of a billion suns.

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Which is why they call it a supermassive black hole, like my first wife. The object is 12.8 billion light years from us, located in the center of a galaxy as big as the Milky Way. A place so old, no doubt, that it runs on NES consoles.

Astronomer Tomotsugu Goto—a name that actually sounds like it's out of a Nintendo game—used the 27-foot Subaru telescope at the Mauna Kea summit, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. He says that this has implications on understanding how the universe evolved, pointing out that "the galaxy and black hole must have formed very rapidly," popping up like a magic 'shroom when the universe was only one-sixteenth of its present age. [University of Hawaii via Bloomberg]

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Illustration for article titled The Most Distant, Oldest Black Hole In the Universe Still Runs in 8-Bits

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If it is a black hole, why can we see it?