Dance of the X-rays / Space Science

Dance of the X Rays

From the ESA Image of the Day – this is a truly remarkable image. Taken from the ESA XMM-Newton Space Telescope, as it shifts its gaze from one X Ray object to another – it shows some notable celestial objects. Its a mosaic of 73,178 individual images adjusted for the Galactic projection/ plane lying across the centre of the image.

Bright object on the right: Vela supernova, 150 x larger than a full moon. On the left is Cygnus Loop, an expanding shock wave caused by a star ending in a supernova <15k years ago. At the centre is Scorpius X-1 – the first object/source to be discovered through X-Rays alone, at 9000 light years from the Earth and is the strongest source of X-Rays apart from our own Sun. My eyesight fails me to recognise the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds – dwarf galaxies neighbours within the Milky Way.

This image covers 62% of the sky and these 1200 individual slews were recorded just between 2011-12. Links to the ever expanding database from XMM-Newton at:

Dance of the X-rays / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.

via Dance of the X-rays / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.