The Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed the as yet deepest X-ray image of the outer space which could contain more than a couple of thousands of black holes.
CXO or the Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched back in 1999. It was previously known as the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility. NASA sent the Flagship-class observatory up in space on the STS-93.
Chandra is considered as being one of the world’s top observatories. It has a 100-times higher X-ray sensitivity than any other previous such telescope.
Earlier this week Chandra-based observations were behind two important discoveries. They were both announced Thursday, January 06. These discoveries were presented during the American Astronomical Society’s meeting. It’s 229th, the society met in Grapevine, Texas.
One of the discoveries involving the CXO was an incredible picture. This represents thousands of black holes. The picture was created based on Chandra observations.
- Data for the image was collected from well over 7 million seconds.
- That would transpose into around 11 and a half weeks.
- The image represents the Chandra Deep Field-South.
- It is the as yet deepest ever X-ray space picture.
- It is believed to contain the highest concentration of supermassive black holes ever encountered.
The same image density could be used from here, on Earth. From such a viewpoint, it could target an area about the size of a full moon. Such an image would contain about 5,000 supermassive black holes. A similar image, but of the entire sky, could have around 1 billion such space elements.
Most of the supermassive black holes revealed by Chandra are believed to be billions of years old. More exactly, they could be as old as the Big Bang. Their formation period was traced back as far as this cosmic event.
Researchers made use of the data carried by the Chandra image. Based on it, they analyzed a series of facts. A research, for example, established other black hole structure types.
As such, it was noted that these respective black holes developed in bursts. Most slowly accumulate matter. The CXO image ones are believed to have grown by bursts. These processes could have taken place some 1 or 2 billion years following the Big Bang.
Chandra’s image can detect X-rays. These can have a high, medium, or low-energy. Depending on this, they are represented as either blue, green, or red.
Astronomers have already initiated a closer study of the area. Preliminary theories state as follows. Such supermassive black holes would have had an enormous mass.
This could have been 10,000 to even 100,000 times the Sun’s mass. As such, it could help explain their quick growth during the early period of the Universe.
A quick growth process would account for their enormous mass. This is even a billion times the mass of the sun.
Niel Brandt went to offer details. He is the leader of one of the astronomer team studying the image. Brandt is part of the Pennsylvania State University.
According to him, the Chandra picture offers an amazing opportunity. Through it, researcher could potentially explore the early days of the Universe. They could do so by studying the black holes’ early periods. After their initial state is determined, studies can carry on. Further research might determine how they changed over the millennia.
A Chandra Deep Field-South survey paper will be released sometime this year. It will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. It will be titled as follows. “The Chandra Deep Field-South Survey: 7 Ms Source Catalogs”.
Image Source: Wikimedia