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XMM-Newton Hubble Deep Field North


Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).
Credit: ESA/XMM-Newton, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

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About this Image

In January 1996, the Hubble Space Telescope released a picture of part of the sky in the Ursa Major constellation. Known as the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), it offered mankind's deepest and most detailed optical view of the Universe. Since then the image has become a reference for astronomers with numerous follow-up observations at other wavelengths.

At the beginning of the mission, XMM-Newton contributed its own X-ray vision of this notable region of the heavens. XMM-Newton's Deep Field North is the result of four observations carried out in May and June 2001. In total, 50 hours of top-quality data was used. The final and longest observation lasted more than 26 hours.

The field of view of the EPIC cameras on XMM-Newton, is a little under half a degree across, about the diameter of the Full Moon. The false-colour image of the XMM-Newton Deep Field shows several hundred sources, coded according to their energy range. For picture clarity, only a handful have been annotated in this animated image. These include galaxies harbouring massive black holes (AGN), and quasars (QSO's), the most extreme versions of the black-hole powerhouses. Also noted in the picture are several radio galaxies, a newly discovered small group of galaxies and a normal foreground star.

The centre of the XMM-Newton image coincides with the region observed by Hubble.

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