Credit:Leicester University/XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre) and ESA
Wondering in a Deep Field
You can learn a lot in a field, late at night, staring off into space, eyes wide with wonder. One question you might ponder is how the Universe formed and how it evolves - a question astronomers continue to wrestle with. The image above is what happens when a powerful X-ray telescope, XMM-Newton, stares into "blank" region for over 100 hours. This image shows a web of X-ray sources, mostly active galaxies harboring super gigantic black holes, at different locations and at different distances. These sources are shown in X-ray colors which stand for the energy of the emitted X-rays, where blue sources emit very energetic X-rays, and red sources emit lower-energy X-rays. This X-ray image is even more probing due to coordinated observations in visible light by a powerful Japanese telescope called Subaru (named for the Pleiades cluster, not the car - which in fact was named for the cluster anyway). The combination of the X-ray images from XMM-Newton and the Subaru optical data is allowing astronomers to study the evolution of gravity in the distant, deep Universe.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:23:12 EDT