Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deepest X-Rays Ever Reveal Universe Teeming With Black Holes

Date:
March 14, 2001
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
For the first time, astronomers believe they have proof black holes of all sizes once ruled the universe. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory provided the deepest X-ray images ever recorded, and those pictures deliver a novel look at the past 12 billion years of black holes.

For the first time, astronomers believe they have proof black holes of all sizes once ruled the universe. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory provided the deepest X-ray images ever recorded, and those pictures deliver a novel look at the past 12 billion years of black holes.

Two independent teams of astronomers today presented images that contain the faintest X-ray sources ever detected, which include an abundance of active super-massive black holes.

"The Chandra data show us that giant black holes were much more active in the past than at present," said Riccardo Giacconi, of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and Associated Universities, Inc., Washington, DC. The exposure is known as "Chandra Deep Field South" since it is located in the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Fornax. "In this million-second image, we also detect relatively faint X-ray emission from galaxies, groups, and clusters of galaxies."

The images, known as the Chandra Deep Fields, were obtained during many long exposures over the course of more than a year. Data from the Chandra Deep Field South will be placed in a public archive for scientists beginning today.

"For the first time, we are able to use X-rays to look back to a time when normal galaxies were several billion years younger," said Ann Hornschemeier, Pennsylvania State University, University Park. The group's 500,000-second exposure included the Hubble Deep Field North, allowing scientists the opportunity to combine the power of Chandra and the Hubble Space Telescope, two of NASA's Great Observatories. The Penn State team recently acquired an additional 500,000 seconds of data, creating another one-million-second Chandra Deep Field, located in the constellation of Ursa Major.

The images are called Chandra Deep Fields because they are comparable to the famous Hubble Deep Field in being able to see further and fainter objects than any image of the universe taken at X-ray wavelengths. Both Chandra Deep Fields are comparable in observation time to the Hubble Deep Fields, but cover a much larger area of the sky.

"In essence, it is like seeing galaxies similar to our own Milky Way at much earlier times in their lives," Hornschemeier added. "These data will help scientists better understand star formation and how stellar-sized black holes evolve." Combining infrared and X-ray observations, the Penn State team also found veils of dust and gas are common around young black holes.

Another discovery to emerge from the Chandra Deep Field South is the detection of an extremely distant X-ray quasar, shrouded in gas and dust. "The discovery of this object, some 12 billion light years away, is key to understanding how dense clouds of gas form galaxies, with massive black holes at their centers," said Colin Norman of Johns Hopkins University.

The Chandra Deep Field South results were complemented by the extensive use of deep optical observations supplied by the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany. The Penn State team obtained optical spectroscopy and imaging using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope in Ft. Davis, TX, and the Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea, HI.

Chandra's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer was developed for NASA by Penn State and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, under the leadership of Penn State Professor Gordon Garmire. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, manages the Chandra program for the Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and flight operations from Cambridge, MA. International contributors to Chandra include the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. More information is available on the Internet at:

http://chandra.harvard.edu

http://chandra.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Deepest X-Rays Ever Reveal Universe Teeming With Black Holes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010314072422.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2001, March 14). Deepest X-Rays Ever Reveal Universe Teeming With Black Holes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010314072422.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Deepest X-Rays Ever Reveal Universe Teeming With Black Holes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010314072422.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The space shuttle Discovery launched for the very first time 30 years ago. Here's a look back at its legacy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins