Researchers observed data from quasars - objects powered by "supermassive" black holes at the centre of early galaxies - using them to measure time near the beginning of the universe.
The scientists used observational data from 200 quasars. Using this data, they were able to measure this immense time dilation.
The ancient slow-motion universe: Scientists were able to observe an early moment during the universe's evolution when it was running in extreme slow motion (five times slower).
This time dilation shows that massive black holes in the ancient universe behave just as Einstein's general theory of relativity
Einstein's general theory of relativity
According to Einstein's general theory of relativity, we should observe the distant and ancient universe running at a much slower rate than the present-day universe. Observing such an ancient period of our universe has proved challenging, though.
What is time dilation?
Time dilation refers to the phenomenon whereby different objects experience time differently based on their relative speeds or gravitational potentials.
This is observable, for example, in the fact that geosynchronous satellites experience time differently from a clock on Earth.
What are Quasars?
Quasars are tremendously active supermassive black holes millions to billions of times more massive than Sun, usually residing at centers of galaxies.
They devour matter drawn to them by their immense gravitational pull and unleash torrents of radiation including jets of high-energy particles, while a glowing disk of matter spins around them.