Astronomers have discovered a quasar, called J0313-1806, that was formed about 670 million years after the big bang. The quasar is 13.03 billion light years away from us.

What is also interesting about this quasar this old is that it hosts a supermassive black hole which challenges our understanding of supermassive black holes. This means supermassive black holes existed not long after the big bang. Astrophysicists postulate that black holes grow by accretion of matter and by merging with other black holes, so finding a supermassive black hole in such an old quasar challenges our understanding of how they form because the black hole must have acquired its mass by some other means.

The black hole has a mass that is equivalent to 1.6 billion times our sun. It is also interesting because astronomers observed an outflow of material from the black hole travelling at 20% the speed of light.

Astronomers say they have also observed star formation occurring in the host galaxy.

Here is a link to the paper discussing the discovery at arXiv.

Here is a link to an article about the quasar at