eROSITA delivers first striking images

phys.org | 7/15/2019 | Staff
joseph76 (Posted by) Level 3
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Astronomers are excited: The first images by the eROSITA telescope launched in July reveal an impressive performance. After an extended commissioning phase, all seven X-ray telescope modules with their custom-designed CCD cameras have been observing the sky simultaneously since 13 October. The first composite images show our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, and two interacting clusters of galaxies at a distance of about 800 million light years in remarkable detail.

"Now we can start reaping the fruits of more than ten years of work. We are all impressed by the beautiful first images from our telescope," enthuses Peter Predehl, Principal Investigator of eROSITA. "To meet our science goals we needed enough sensitivity to detect the most distant clusters of galaxies in the X-ray universe over the whole sky, and resolve them spatially. These First Light images show that we can do exactly that, but we can go a lot further. The CCD cameras are state-of the art with superb spectral and timing resolution. The potential for new discoveries is immense." The eROSITA first light images were obtained in a series of exposures of all seven telescope modules with a combined integration time of about one day for both the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), our neighboring galaxy, and the A3391/3395 system of interacting clusters of galaxies at a distance of about 800 Million light-years.

Galaxy - LMC - Distribution - LMCs - Diffuse

In our neighboring galaxy, the LMC, eROSITA not only shows the distribution of the LMCs diffuse hot gas, but also some remarkable details, such as supernova remnants like SN1987A. The eROSITA image now confirms that this source is becoming fainter, as the shock wave produced in by the stellar explosion in 1987 propagates through the interstellar medium. In addition to a host of other hot objects in the LMC itself, eROSITA also reveals a number of foreground stars...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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