About the Object

Name: ZS7
Distance: z=7.15 (redshift)
Category: Galaxies

ZS7 location in PRIMER image (NIRcam image)

This image shows the location of the galaxy system ZS7 from the JWST PRIMER programme (PI: J. Dunlop). New research using the NIRSpec instrument on the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope have determined the system to be evidence of an ongoing merger of two galaxies and their massive black holes when the Universe was only 740 million years old. This marks the most distant detection of a black hole merger ever obtained and the first time that this phenomenon has been detected so early in the Universe. 

The team has found evidence for very dense gas with fast motions in the vicinity of the black hole, as well as hot and highly ionised gas illuminated by the energetic radiation typically produced by black holes in their accretion episodes. Webb also allowed the team to spatially separate the two black holes and determined that one of the two black holes has a mass that is 50 million times the mass of the Sun. The mass of the other black hole is likely similar, although it is harder to measure because this second black hole is buried in dense gas.

In this Webb NIRCam image, the ionised hydrogen (Hβ) emission in the ZS7 system is identified by the orange region and the doubly ionised oxygen (OIII) emission is visible in dark red (right image).

[Image description: Three panels are shown showing an increasingly small area of the PRIMER galaxy field. The first image shows a large field of galaxies on the black background of space. The second image shows a smaller region from this field, revealing the galaxies in closer detail, appearing in a variety of shapes and colours. The final image shows the ZS7 galaxy system, revealing the ionised hydrogen emission in orange and the doubly ionised oxygen emission in dark red.]


ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, J. Dunlop, D. Magee, P. G. Pérez-González, H. Übler, R. Maiolino, et. al

About the Image

Id: weic2413b
Type: Collage
Release date: 16 May 2024, 10:00
Related releases: weic2413
Size: 6300 x 2100 px

Image Formats

Download IconLarge JPEG 2.1 MB
Download IconPublication JPEG 954.0 KB
Download IconScreensize JPEG 115.0 KB



Download Icon1024x768 188.0 KB
Download Icon1280x1024 289.4 KB
Download Icon1600x1200 409.7 KB
Download Icon1920x1200 479.3 KB
Download Icon2048x1536 577.3 KB

Also see our