The deepest X-ray picture of the Milky Way
The deepest ever image of the central area of the Milky Way in the hard X-rays (17-60 keV) has been produced. The majority of the X-ray light emitting sources are black holes and neutron stars. A large fraction of them are situated close to the Galactic Centre and the Galactic plane, with the distribution following well the structure of the Milky Way marked on the picture by green contours.
The image was produced by Dr. Sergey Tsygankov in collaboration with colleagues from Germany and Russia. Tsygankov works in the astrophysics group at the University of Oulu and is the staff member of the Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), which is responsible for the international cooperation with the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
The research group has compiled the image using nine years of observations by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) INTEGRAL satellite. Surveying our Milky Way Galaxy in hard X-rays is one of the tasks, which INTEGRAL performed with great success. This survey is also a solid basis for future studies of Galactic X-ray source population.