Over 900,000 Cosmic Sources in Largest X-ray Universe Map

Scientists have unveiled the largest and most detailed X-ray map of the universe ever created, revealing more than 700,000 supermassive black holes and other exotic objects. The map was produced by the eROSITA X-ray telescope, which scanned the entire sky for six months. The data provide new insights into the structure and evolution of the cosmos.

The eROSITA All-Sky Survey Catalogue (eRASS1) is the largest collection of X-ray sources ever published, surpassing the previous records set by the XMM-Newton and Chandra missions. The map contains more than 900,000 high-energy cosmic sources, including 710,000 supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, 180,000 stars in our own Milky Way, 12,000 clusters of galaxies, and many other types of X-ray emitting celestial objects.

X-rays are a form of high-energy radiation that can penetrate through dust and gas, revealing hidden features of the universe. X-rays are emitted by extremely hot and energetic phenomena, such as galaxy clusters, supernova remnants, active black holes, and neutron stars. By studying X-rays, astronomers can learn about the formation and growth of these objects, as well as their interactions with their surroundings.

One of the most intriguing discoveries made by eROSITA is a huge filament of hot gas connecting two galaxy clusters across more than 42 million light-years. This filament is part of the cosmic web, the large-scale structure of the universe that consists of filaments and voids. The cosmic web is believed to be shaped by dark matter and dark energy, two mysterious components that make up most of the universe.

The eROSITA mission is a collaboration between Germany and Russia, with contributions from other countries. The eROSITA X-ray telescope is mounted on the Spektrum-RG satellite, which was launched in July 2019. The telescope will continue to scan the sky for another seven years, improving the sensitivity and resolution of the map.

The eRASS1 data are publicly available for researchers and enthusiasts to explore. The map offers a stunning view of the X-ray universe and a rich resource for scientific discoveries.

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