UNCOVER: The Growth of the First Massive Black Holes from JWST/NIRSpec—Spectroscopic Redshift Confirmation of an X-Ray Luminous AGN at z = 10.1

Andy D. Goulding, Jenny E. Greene, David J. Setton, Ivo Labbe, Rachel Bezanson, Tim B. Miller, Hakim Atek, Ákos Bogdán, Gabriel Brammer, Iryna Chemerynska, Sam E. Cutler, Pratika Dayal, Yoshinobu Fudamoto, Seiji Fujimoto, Lukas J. Furtak, Vasily Kokorev, Gourav Khullar, Joel Leja, Danilo Marchesini, Priyamvada NatarajanErica Nelson, Pascal A. Oesch, Richard Pan, Casey Papovich, Sedona H. Price, Pieter van Dokkum, Bingjie Wang, John R. Weaver, Katherine E. Whitaker, Adi Zitrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The James Webb Space Telescope is now detecting early black holes (BHs) as they transition from “seeds” to supermassive BHs. Recently, Bogdan et al. reported the detection of an X-ray luminous supermassive BH, UHZ-1, with a photometric redshift at z > 10. Such an extreme source at this very high redshift provides new insights on seeding and growth models for BHs given the short time available for formation and growth. Harnessing the exquisite sensitivity of JWST/NIRSpec, here we report the spectroscopic confirmation of UHZ-1 at z = 10.073 ± 0.002. We find that the NIRSpec/Prism spectrum is typical of recently discovered z ≈ 10 galaxies, characterized primarily by star formation features. We see no clear evidence of the powerful X-ray source in the rest-frame UV/optical spectrum, which may suggest heavy obscuration of the central BH, in line with the Compton-thick column density measured in the X-rays. We perform a stellar population fit simultaneously to the new NIRSpec spectroscopy and previously available photometry. The fit yields a stellar-mass estimate for the host galaxy that is significantly better constrained than prior photometric estimates ( M ⋆ ∼ 1.4 − 0.4 + 0.3 × 10 8 M ). Given the predicted BH mass (M BH ∼ 107-108 M ), the resulting ratio of M BH/M remains 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than local values, thus lending support to the heavy seeding channel for the formation of supermassive BHs within the first billion years of cosmic evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL24
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume955
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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