X-Ray Vision

chandra-deep-field-southThis image was made with over 7 million seconds (about 11-1/2 weeks) of Chandra X-Ray Observatory observing time. It’s part of the Chandra Deep Field-South and is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained. This look at the early Universe in X-rays gives astronomers the best look yet at the growth of black holes over billions of years starting soon after the Big Bang. In this image, low, medium, and high-energy X-rays that Chandra detects are shown as red, green, and blue respectively.

Image Credit: NASA

A Pair of Black Holes

CircinusThe magenta spots in this image show a couple of black holes in the Circinus galaxy—the supermassive black hole at its heart and a smaller one closer to the edge. The smaller one belongs to a class of objects called ultraluminous X-ray sources, or ULXs. ULXs are black holes actively feeding off material drawn in from a partner star.

The ULX was spotted by NuSTAR which sees high-energy X-ray light. The magenta X-ray data in the image above come from the NuSTAR and are overlaid on a visible/infrared image from the Digitized Sky Survey.

The Circinus galaxy is located 13 million light-years away in the southern sky constellation Circinus.

Image Credit: NASA