Astronomers at Steward Observatory have discovered a massive protocluster around a super-luminous quasar.

Such objects, detected at high redshifts, could provide important information about the early phases of the Universe.
Astronomers have discovered a new massive protocluster around the super-luminous quasar J0910–0414. This discovery could shed light on the early stages of the Universe and the evolution of galaxies.
A team of astronomers from Steward Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, and other locations used the Subaru telescope and the Atacama Large-scale Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe the quasar at a high redshift of 6.63.

The quasar contains one of the most massive supermassive black holes this early in the universe’s evolution, making it an ideal target for the search for new galaxy clusters.

Observations from November 2019 to January 2020 revealed a protocluster consisting of at least three carbon [C II] line emission sources and 12 Lyman alpha emitters (LAEs) at the quasar redshift.

It is one of the densest structures in the early Universe, with a mass currently estimated at 6.9 quadrillion solar masses, or three times the mass of the nearby Coma cluster.