XMM-Newton Deep Field North
Credit: F. Jansen & D. Lumb (ESA)

Newton's Deep Field

If you stare long enough you can see some very interesting things. The Hubble Space Telescope proved this axiom by their long exposure picture of a single small spot in the sky. This spot is now known as the Hubble Deep Field. The Hubble Deep Field observation revealed some of the youngest and most active galaxies ever seen. The Chandra X-ray Telescope also stared at this same spot, and also identified some very young, X-ray bright galaxies. Now XMM-Newton has observed the deep field as well, staring at this single spot for over 50 hours. This long exposure, shown above, allows astronomers to localize young X-ray bright galaxies, mostly powered by supermassive black holes. The image above is a "true-color" image in which the color of the object shown represents the average energy of the X-ray emission produced by the object; blue represents high-energy X-ray emission, while red represents low-energy X-rays. In addition to identifying the X-ray sources, astronomers can use the X-ray data from XMM-Newton to examine whether the sources vary, or examine the X-ray spectral fingerprint of each object to help reveal the ways the supermassive black holes produce X-rays.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified November 19, 2001