Members of the X-ray astronomy working group at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics (AIP) and an international team have published the first catalogue of X-ray sources in multiply observed sky regions. The catalogue comprises almost 72,000 objects, partly of exotic nature, which were observed with the space-based X-ray telescope XMM-Newton. It provides information on the physical properties of the sources and enables astronomers to identify brightness variations on time scales of several years - and includes several thousand new detections.
"The more images are superimposed the more details become visible"
Since its launch end of 1999, the European X-ray satellite XMM-Newton has observed many patches of the sky repeatedly. Members of the X-ray astronomy group have developed new software to search for astrophysical objects in overlapping observations and used it to compile the first catalogue.
By combining multiple observations of the same region of sky, higher accuracy is reached and faint sources are found that are not detectable in the individual observations. "Our method is similar to combining several transparencies showing the same subject: The more images are superimposed the more details become visible," explains Dr. Iris Traulsen, the project scientist at the AIP.
The new catalogue comprises 71,951 X-ray sources in 1,789 XMM-Newton observations and lists a wealth of information on their physical properties. Several thousand of these sources are newly discovered, many of them very faint and difficult to detect. The catalogue can be used to trace brightness changes of X-ray sources over time scales of up to 14.5 years.
Dr. Axel Schwope, team leader at the AIP, says: "Variations of the X-ray brightness are a essential criteria used to search for exotic Celestial objects. To decipher their nature, we also employ the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona." The AIP is one of the LBT partners and contributes to its instrumentation and software.
Scientists all over the world have been using the XMM-Newton Source Catalogues to get new information about their research objects and to search for rare and as yet unknown sources of X-rays.
X-ray telescopes: the invisible made visible
X-ray observations open a window to regions of the Universe that are invisible to human eyes. Celestial X-rays arise from extremely energetic processes, for example in hot gas at temperatures of hundreds of millions degrees. This relatively new technique has been used for some fifty years to study these often exotic objects.
A single observation by ESA's space-based X-ray telescope XMM-Newton covers the same sky area as the full moon and contains fifty to one hundred X-ray sources. They range from hot or very compact, collapsed stars to massive black holes in distant galaxies and to galaxy clusters billions of light years away from the Earth.
The XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre Consortium has been established more than twenty years ago as a team of scientists in several European countries, including France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. They process the publicly available XMM-Newton observations and publish catalogues of all serendipitously detected X-ray sources. The AIP contributes and maintains the source-detection software.
Dr. Iris Traulsen, 0331-7499 286, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Janine Fohlmeister | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Electronic evidence of non-Fermi liquid behaviors in an iron-based superconductor
11.12.2018 | Science China Press
Physicists edge closer to controlling chemical reactions
11.12.2018 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
11.12.2018 | Information Technology