The eROSITA X-ray telescope on board the SSR took 182 days to complete its first sweep of the sky. What is returned is nothing short of phenomenal.
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It has brought to life a new map of the universe that contains over a million objects. Most of the new sources are the active galactic nuclei at cosmological distances, and we now have a full view of the hot baryons in the Milky Way.
“This all-sky image completely changes the way we look at the dynamism of the universe,” said Peter Predehl, the Principal Investigator of eROSITA at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). “We see such a wealth of detail – the beauty of the images is really superb.”
This image of eROSITA is about 4 times deeper than the previous all sky survey by ROSAT telescope product 30 years ago. It has provided approximately 10 times more sources.
The new image reveals in detail the structure of hot gas in the Milky Way itself, and the circum-galactic medium, which surrounds it. The eROSITA X-ray of the card also X-ray binary stars containing neutron stars, black holes or white dwarfs, and supernova remnants in our own and other nearby galaxies.
“We were all eagerly awaiting the first map of the sky from eROSITA,” said Mara Salvato, the scientist at MGA, which leads efforts to combine eROSITA observations with other telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum.
“Large regions of the sky have already been treated to a lot of other wavelengths, and we now have the X-ray data match. We need these other investigations to identify the sources of X-rays and to understand their nature.”
The survey also includes images of rare and exotic phenomena, such as transients and variables, the rockets from compact objects, the merger of neutron starsand the stars being swallowed by black holes.
“eROSITA often see unexpected bursts of X-rays in the sky,” said Salvato. “We need to alert the ground-based telescopes immediately to understand what happened.”