UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One of the largest X-ray surveys using the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space observatory has mapped nearly 12,000 X-ray sources across three large, prime regions of the sky. The X-ray sources represent active galactic nuclei and galaxy clusters, and the survey captures the growth of the supermassive black holes at the cores of these galaxies. This X-ray survey complements previous X-ray surveys, allowing the researchers to map active galactic nuclei in a wide range of cosmic environments.
Qingling Ni and W. Niel Brandt from Penn State will present the results of the XMM-Spitzer Extragalactic Representative Volume Survey (XMM-SERVS) at a press briefing being held Monday, June 7, at 4:30 p.m. during the 238th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. A paper describing the survey, by an international team of astronomers, has been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Supplement.
“X-ray surveys are the best way to find growing supermassive black holes, which are located at the cores of many large galaxies,” said Ni, a graduate student at Penn State and lead author of the paper. “With this massive new survey, we can access population data about growing supermassive black holes to better understand their physical properties and evolution over cosmic history.”