The Deepest X-Ray Map Of The Sky That Has Ever Been Made, Revealed by the eROSITA X-Ray Telescope

xray of the sky from the erosita space telescope
Source - ScienceNews.org

According to Science News – “The X-ray image, published on June 19, is supported on information from the first completely full sky scan performed onboard the Russian-German spacecraft SRG by the X-ray telescope eROSITA, which was launched in July 2019. The all-sky 6-month survey, which started in December and ended in June, is the first of 8 total sky online surveys eROSITA will be carrying out in the next few years. Yet this single sweep classified some 1.1 mill X-ray sources around the cosmos — just about double the number of known and established universe X-ray emitters.”

These extremely hot and energetic large and small objects include stars from the Milky Way and super large black holes in the middle of other galaxies, and some of which are light-years away, so some date back as to when the entire universe was only one-tenth of its current size.

The fresh map of EROSITA shows objects about 4 times as small as the last online survey of the entire X-ray sky carried out by the space telescope ROSAT in the 1990s. The new pictures “are just amazing to look at,” states Harvey Tananbaum, the astrophysicist not active in the experiment at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for the Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.”You have this incredible opportunity to look at the close near and the far … and then just, of course, in reality, take a closer look also at the major parts of the pictures you ‘re most particularly interested in. 

“EROSITA will identify potentially fascinating X-ray phenomena, such as with star flares torn by black holes, in which other space telescopes with slightly narrower fields of view would then be investigated in depth. The fresh map also helps astronomers to probe mysterious X-ray properties, such as a massive radiation arc over the Milky Way plane named the North Polar Spur.

According to eROSITA team member Mr. Peter Predehl, the X-ray astronomer at Max Planck Institute for the Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, this X-ray new feature could be leftover from another nearby supernova explosion, or it probably may be linked to the massive gas blobs out on either side of the whole Milky Way disk, widely known as Fermi Bubbles. The observations from EROSITA could support the Russian and German new mission teams try to figure out what the spurring is.

Approximately 20 percent of the points on the new map of eROSITA are all stars somewhere in the Milky Way with strong magnetic fields and extremely hot coronae. Also, scattered among them are the star systems containing some neutron stars, white dwarfs and black holes, and traces of supernova bursts.

EROSITA also received a variety of brief blows from events such as stellar collisions.

Outside the Milky Way, and most of the great X-ray emitters detected by eROSITA are super large black holes in the middle of other galaxies that absorb matter. 77 percent of the entire catalog contains these active galactic nuclei.

Distant galaxy clusters make up another 2 percent of the whole haul of eROSITA. Due to the boiling hot gas that mostly fills the gap between galaxies within each cluster, which also emits an X-ray light, these clusters were easily visible to the telescope.