A high black-hole-to-host mass ratio in a lensed AGN in the early Universe

Lukas J. Furtak, Ivo Labbé, Adi Zitrin, Jenny E. Greene, Pratika Dayal, Iryna Chemerynska, Vasily Kokorev, Tim B. Miller, Andy D. Goulding, Anna de Graaff, Rachel Bezanson, Gabriel B. Brammer, Sam E. Cutler, Joel Leja, Richard Pan, Sedona H. Price, Bingjie Wang, John R. Weaver, Katherine E. Whitaker, Hakim AtekÁkos Bogdán, Stéphane Charlot, Emma Curtis-Lake, Pieter van Dokkum, Ryan Endsley, Robert Feldmann, Yoshinobu Fudamoto, Seiji Fujimoto, Karl Glazebrook, Stéphanie Juneau, Danilo Marchesini, Micheal V. Maseda, Erica Nelson, Pascal A. Oesch, Adèle Plat, David J. Setton, Daniel P. Stark, Christina C. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Early JWST observations have uncovered a population of red sources that might represent a previously overlooked phase of supermassive black hole growth1–3. One of the most intriguing examples is an extremely red, point-like object that was found to be triply imaged by the strong lensing cluster Abell 2744 (ref. 4). Here we present deep JWST/NIRSpec observations of this object, Abell2744-QSO1. The spectroscopy confirms that the three images are of the same object, and that it is a highly reddened (AV ≃ 3) broad emission line active galactic nucleus at a redshift of zspec = 7.0451 ± 0.0005. From the width of Hβ (full width at half-maximum = 2,800 ± 250 km s−1), we derive a black hole mass of MBH=4−1+2×107M. We infer a very high ratio of black-hole-to-galaxy mass of at least 3%, an order of magnitude more than that seen in local galaxies5 and possibly as high as 100%. The lack of strong metal lines in the spectrum together with the high bolometric luminosity (Lbol = (1.1 ± 0.3) × 1045 erg s−1) indicate that we are seeing the black hole in a phase of rapid growth, accreting at 30% of the Eddington limit. The rapid growth and high black-hole-to-galaxy mass ratio of Abell2744-QSO1 suggest that it may represent the missing link between black hole seeds6 and one of the first luminous quasars7.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
Issue number8006
StatePublished - Apr 4 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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