Two Thousand Supermassive Black Holes Imaged

Two Thousand Supermassive Black Holes Imaged

An X-ray view of the COSMOS field node full image.jpg

This image taken by the space telescope XMM-Newton shows a patch of the sky in x-rays. Much of the activity of the night sky occurs in the high energy range and is invisible to our eyes. When the sky is viewed in x-ray the most powerful and highly energetic events in the cosmos become clear. Each small point source in the image above is a supermassive black hole taking matter from its surroundings. The other red and yellow larger areas of colour are galaxy clusters. Each cluster can host thousands of galaxies. To gain a sense of scale this picture spans about three full moon widths of the night sky.

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Image credit: ESA/XMM-Newton/Gunther Hasinger, Nico Cappelluti, and the XMM-COSMOS collaboration.

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