The most comprehensive X-ray map of the sky gives a deeper insight of the sky than any other map.
Released on June 19, this map is outlined on the basis of the data of the eROSITA X-ray telescope’s first full scan of the sky. This telescope is onboard the Russian-German SRG spacecraft which was launched back in July 2019.
The survey for the full scan was conducted for six months from December to June. A total number of such surveys to be conducted is eight and this is the first one. Alone, this survey has covered the data of approx 1.1 million X-ray resources across the cosmos.
This scan shows different energetic objects including Milky Way stars and black holes and centres of other galaxies, situated a billion light-years away from us.
In this map, X-rays are colour-coded by energy. The highest energy is signified by blue, followed by green, yellow and red. The colours shown in this map are the X-rays emitted by celestial bodies.
Hot gas near the solar system is glowing in red and Milky Way resembles to be blue due to the absorbed X-rays except for the most energetic X-rays. This map also shows several Milky way’s supernova remnants including Cassiopeia A and Vela, and Scorpius X-1.
Almost 20 percent of the spots on this map are stars with strong magnetic field in the Milky Way. Also, this map shows different black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs. eROSITA has also captured several bursts in this scan.
Almost 77 per cent of the X-ray emitters found beyond the Milky Way are the supermassive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies.
An astronomer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Craig Sarazin says, “At present, we probably know about a little less than 8,000 clusters of galaxies.”
eROSITA has started with its second six-month survey. The combined map of the eight surveys will be the source for more detail.