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ULAS J1120+0641 was discovered in June 29, 2011 via UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey; first quasar discovered beyond the redshift of 7.
ULAS J1120+0641 is a quasar, the discovery of which was reported on 29 June 2011. As of June 2011, it is the most distant known quasar (at a comoving distance of 28.85 billion light-years), and it was the first quasar discovered beyond a redshift of 7.

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 Astronomers detect vast amounts of gas and dust around black hole in early universe

Using the IRAM array of millimetre-wave telescopes in the French Alps, a team of European astronomers from Germany, the UK and France have discovered a large reservoir of gas and dust in a galaxy that surrounds the most distant supermassive black hole known. Light from the galaxy, called J1120+0641, has taken so long to reach us that the galaxy is seen as it was only 740 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 1/18th of its current age.
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This video is about the discovery of the most distant quasar found to date. This brilliant beacon is powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun. It is by far the brightest object yet discovered in the early Universe.



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Title: Detection of atomic carbon [CII] 158 micron and dust emission from a z=7.1 quasar host galaxy
Authors: B. P. Venemans (1 and 2), R. G. McMahon (3 and 4), F. Walter (1), R. Decarli (1), P. Cox (5), R. Neri (5), P. Hewett (3), D. J. Mortlock (6), C. Simpson (7), S. J. Warren (6) ((1) MPIA Heidelberg, (2) ESO Garching, (3) IoA Cambridge, (4) KICC, Cambridge (5) IRAM, (6) Imperial College London, (7) Liverpool Johns Moores University)

Using the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, we report the detection of the 158 micron [CII] emission line and underlying dust continuum in the host galaxy of the quasar ULAS J112001.48+064124.3 (hereafter J1120+0641) at z=7.0842±0.0004. This is the highest redshift detection of the [CII] line to date, and allows us to put first constraints on the physical properties of the host galaxy. The [CII] line luminosity is (1.2±0.2)x10^9 Lsun, which is a factor ~4 lower than observed in a luminous quasar at z=6.42 (SDSS J1148+5251). The underlying far-infrared continuum has a flux density of 0.61±0.16 mJy, similar to the average flux density of z~6 quasars that were not individually detected at similar frequencies. The far-infrared continuum detection implies a star-formation rate in the range 160-440 solar masses/yr and a total dust mass in the host galaxy of (9±2)x10^7 solar masses (both numbers have significant uncertainties given the unknown nature of dust at these redshifts). The [CII] line width of sigma_V=100±15 km/s is among the smallest observed when compared to the molecular line widths detected in z~6 quasars. Both the [CII] and dust continuum emission are spatially unresolved at the current angular resolution of 2.0x1.7 arcsec² (corresponding to 10x9 kpc² at the redshift of J1120+0641). The dynamical mass of the host implied by the observed line width is Mdyn < 1.4x10¹¹ solar masses. If the bulge mass was close to the dynamical mass, then the black hole-bulge mass ratio is >10 times higher than observed locally.

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ULAS J112001.48+064124.3
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Far-flung galaxy's carbon signal

Astronomers have detected vast amounts of gas and dust in the galaxy that contains the most distant supermassive black hole known to science.
The galaxy, called J1120+0641, is so far away, its light has taken more than 13 billion years to reach Earth.
Researchers say they were surprised to see so much carbon in the observations.

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Title: A luminous quasar at a redshift of z = 7.085
Authors: Daniel J. Mortlock (1), Stephen J. Warren (1), Bram P. Venemans (2), Mitesh Patel (1), Paul C. Hewett (3), Richard G. McMahon (3), Chris Simpson (4), Tom Theuns (5,6), Eduardo A. Gonzales-Solares (3), Andy Adamson (7), Simon Dye (8), Nigel C. Hambly (9), Paul Hirst (10), Mike J. Irwin (3), Ernst Kuiper (11), Andy Lawrence (9), Huub J. A. Rottgering (11) ((1) Imperial College London, (2) European Southern Observatory, (3) University of Cambridge, (4) Liverpool John Moores University, (5) University of Durham, (6) Universiteit Antwerpen, (7) Joint Astronomy Centre, (8) University of Nottingham, (9) University of Edinburgh, (10) Gemini Observatory, (11) Leiden University)

The intergalactic medium was not completely Reionised until approximately a billion years after the Big Bang, as revealed by observations of quasars with redshifts of less than 6.5. It has been difficult to probe to higher redshifts, however, because quasars have historically been identified in optical surveys, which are insensitive to sources at redshifts exceeding 6.5. Here we report observations of a quasar (ULAS J112001.48+064124.3) at a redshift of 7.085, which is 0.77 billion years after the Big Bang. ULAS J1120+0461 had a luminosity of 6.3x10^13 L_Sun and hosted a black hole with a mass of 2x10^9 M_Sun (where L_Sun and M_Sun are the luminosity and mass of the Sun). The measured radius of the ionised near zone around ULAS J1120+0641 is 1.9 megaparsecs, a factor of three smaller than typical for quasars at redshifts between 6.0 and 6.4. The near zone transmission profile is consistent with a Ly alpha damping wing, suggesting that the neutral fraction of the intergalactic medium in front of ULAS J1120+0641 exceeded 0.1.

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Title: How neutral is the intergalactic medium surrounding the redshift z=7.085 quasar ULAS J1120+0641?
Authors: James S. Bolton (1), Martin G. Haehnelt (2), Stephen J. Warren (3), Paul C. Hewett (2), Daniel J. Mortlock (3), Bram P. Venemans (4), Richard G. McMahon (2), Chris Simpson (5) ((1) Melbourne, (2) KICC/IoA Cambridge, (3) Imperial, (4) ESO, (5) Liverpool John Moores)

The quasar ULAS J1120+0641 at redshift z=7.085 has a highly ionised near zone which is smaller than those around quasars of similar luminosity at z~6. The spectrum also exhibits evidence for a damping wing extending redward of the systemic Lya redshift. We use radiative transfer simulations in a cosmological context to investigate the implications for the ionisation state of the inhomogeneous IGM surrounding this quasar. Our simulations show that the transmission profile is consistent with an IGM in the vicinity of the quasar with a volume averaged HI fraction of f_HI>0.1 and that ULAS J1120+0641 has been bright for 10^6--10^7 yr. The observed spectrum is also consistent with smaller IGM neutral fractions, f_HI ~ 10^-3--10-4, if a damped Lya system in an otherwise highly ionised IGM lies within 5 proper Mpc of the quasar. This is, however, predicted to occur in only ~5 per cent of our simulated sight-lines for a bright phase of 10^6--10^7 yr. Unless ULAS J1120+0641 grows during a previous optically obscured phase, the low age inferred for the quasar adds to the theoretical challenge of forming a 2x10^9 M_sol black hole at this high redshift.

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Title: A Monster in the early Universe
Authors: Chris J. Willott

The most distant quasar yet discovered sets constraints on the formation mechanism of black holes. Its light spectrum has tantalizing features that are expected to be observed before the reionisation epoch ended.

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Discovery of the most distant quasar lets astronomers observe the nascent universe

An international team of astronomers has announced the discovery of the most distant quasar yet seen. The quasar is an extremely bright source of light visible at infrared wavelengths, emitted as gas falls into a very massive black hole. The scientists have named it ULAS J1120+0641.
The discovery came to light thanks to data from an ongoing survey of the sky that is being conducted by scientists at the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii. Dr Daniel Mortlock from Imperial College London is lead author on the paper describing the discovery, which is published in the journal Nature today.

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Astronomers discover Universe's most distant quasar

A scientist at The University of Nottingham is part of a team of astronomers which has discovered the most distant quasar to date - a development that could help further our understanding of a universe still in its infancy following the Big Bang.
This brilliant and rare beacon, powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun, is by far the brightest object yet found from a time when the Universe was less than 800 million years old - just a fraction of its current age.
The object that has been found, named ULAS J1120+0641, is around 100 million years younger than the previously known most distant quasar. It lies at a redshift of 7.1 which corresponds to looking back in time to a Universe that was only 770 million years old, only five per cent of its current age. Prior to this discovery, the most distant quasar known has a redshift of 6.4, the equivalent of a Universe that was 870 million years old.

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