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Cosmology/Deep Fields/X-ray Background
Animations & Video: Cosmology/Deep Fields/X-ray Background
Page 12
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of Black Hole Seeds
QuicktimeMPEG Astronomers have long tried to determine just how supermassive black holes, those with millions or even billions of times the mass of the Sun in the centers of nearly all large galaxies, first formed. A conundrum arises because some of these supermassive black holes have been found less than a billion years after the Big Bang. How could such giant objects have formed so quickly?

New research using data from three of NASA's Great Observatories - Hubble, Chandra, and Spitzer - may help answer this important question. By developing a sophisticated computer model and new techniques to search large databases, a team of astronomers came up with a novel way to look for some of the Universe's earliest supermassive black holes. Their method targeted objects that matched the properties of one proposed mechanism to form these black holes: direct collapse. In this scenario, supermassive black holes would have formed directly from the collapse of a cloud of gas, producing a black hole of about 10,000 times the mass of the Sun. There is a competing theory where a massive star collapses to produce a black hole of about 10 solar masses, which then packs on weight very quickly to get up to supermassive size.

The new results suggest that at least some of the supermassive black holes in the early Universe formed through this direct collapse method. If these findings are confirmed with other research, it could help astronomers understand how black holes were formed billions of years ago and give more insight into the early Universe itself.
[Runtime: 02:38]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of Galaxy Clusters
QuicktimeMPEG Since its discovery almost two decades ago, dark energy has remained one of the biggest mysteries in science. Astronomers know that dark energy is responsible for the current accelerating expansion of the Universe, but they are still trying to determine just what it is.

A new study tries to tackle the questions surrounding dark energy by examining properties of X-ray emission from galaxy clusters. Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the Universe held together by gravity and they contain enormous amounts of hot gas that glow in X-ray light. Researchers know that galaxy clusters possess another interesting quality: the more massive ones are simply scaled up versions of the smaller ones -- like Russian dolls that fit inside one another.

Astronomers can take advantage of this fact to use galaxy clusters as cosmic distance markers. Since dark energy is pushing the Universe apart, the different distances of these galaxy clusters reveals clues about the nature of dark energy itself.

The latest research, looking at over 300 galaxy clusters, shows that dark energy does not appear to change over billions of years. This supports the idea that dark energy is what Einstein called the cosmological constant, which is the equivalent to the energy of empty space. While this new study is very exciting, there is still much to be learned before we know exactly what dark energy is, how it has affected the Universe in the past, and what it might do in the future.
[Runtime: 02:32]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of CDFS
QuicktimeMPEG This animation shows an artist's impression of a distant galaxy and its hidden black hole found in an epoch when the Universe was less than one billion years old. The galaxy contains regions of active star formation (blue) and large amounts of gas and dust (red). The view zooms into the galaxy, and a glowing disk of hot gas falling onto massive central object is seen. At the center of the disk is a supermassive black hole. Many types of radiation emitted from the disk are blocked by the veil of dust and gas, but very energetic X-rays are able to escape. Scientists found many of these black holes in the early Universe using the new Chandra Deep Field South.
[Runtime: 1.21]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Multi-wavelength Views of the Chandra Deep Field South
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence of images begins with a large optical image of the southern sky. The view zooms into the 4-million-second exposure of the Chandra Deep Field South, and then an optical and infrared image from the Hubble Space Telescope is overlaid. The Chandra sources are blue in this composite image. After further zooming in, yellow circles appear to mark the positions of very distant galaxies that existed when the Universe was less than about 950 million years old. The two small Chandra sources on the right show that all of the low and high energy X-rays that have been added up at the positions of these galaxies. This provides evidence that growing black holes have been detected in 30% to 100% of the distant galaxies.
[Runtime: 0.27]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/U. Hawaii/E. Treister et al; Infrared: NASA/STScI/UC Santa Cruz/G. Illingworth et al; Optical: Wide-field: Akira Fujii; Close-up: NASA/STScI/S. Beckwith et al)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Animation of Hidden Baby Black Hole
QuicktimeMPEG This animation shows an artist's impression of a distant galaxy and its hidden black hole found in an epoch when the Universe was less than one billion years old. The galaxy contains regions of active star formation (blue) and large amounts of gas and dust (red). The view zooms into the galaxy, and a glowing disk of hot gas falling onto massive central object is seen. At the center of the disk is a supermassive black hole. Many types of radiation emitted from the disk are blocked by the veil of dust and gas, but very energetic X-rays are able to escape. Scientists found many of these black holes in the early Universe using the new Chandra Deep Field South.
[Runtime: 0.20]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Animation of a Blob
QuicktimeMPEG This animation of a blob begins with a close-up view of a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy. Material falls into the black hole via a hot, rotating disk, and powers an outflow that pushes out into the galaxy. The view pulls back to show the galaxy hosting the black hole, as the outflow travels away from the galaxy and heats up surrounding gas. Several other outflows powered by the black hole are seen. The view pulls back even further to show the full extent of the gas in the blob containing the galaxy.
[Runtime: 0.30]
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of Abell 1689
QuicktimeMPEG Abell 1689 is a massive cluster of galaxies located about 2.3 billion light-years away. An image obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory shows hot gas that fills the space between the galaxies. This gas is about 100 million degrees, and therefore glows brightly in X-rays. An image in optical light taken with the Hubble Space Telescope shows the individual galaxies not seen in the Chandra image. Some of the galaxies in the Hubble image that lie beyond the cluster appear as long arcs because their light has been distorted by the immense mass in the intervening galaxy cluster. Taken together, the data from Chandra and Hubble show that Abell 1689 is a galaxy cluster that is in the process of merging with another. Astronomers are studying Abell 1689 to learn more about the distribution of mass as well as the unseen dark matter that is thought to pervade the system.
[Runtime: 1:06]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/E.-H Peng et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Chandra/Hubble Comparison Animation
QuicktimeMPEG This video compares the large area in the northern GOODS Chandra Deep Fields field, observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, with the smaller region viewed with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The video begins with the Chandra field, which is over half the size of the full moon, and then zooms into the field to show several supermassive black holes [the red blobs], before dissolving to the Hubble image. Astronomers discovered that the positions of the black holes matched the location of the galaxies in the Hubble image.
[Runtime: 0:10]
(NASA and G. Bacon (STScI))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Chandra Deep Field South Animation
QuicktimeMPEG This video sequence pinpoints the seven X-ray sources [supermassive black holes] discovered in the southern field with the Chandra X-ray Observatory that cannot be seen in the Hubble view. The sequence begins with a view of the full Chandra field. Small boxes appear which pinpoint the black holes [the red blobs]. The video then zooms into the Chandra field to show close-ups of two black holes, which disappear in the Hubble image. These black holes are the most distant ever detected, or the galaxies in which they reside are so dusty that they cannot be seen.
[Runtime: 0:28]
(NASA and G. Bacon (STScI))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Animation of Absorption by Intergalactic Gas
QuicktimeMPEG In this animation, X-rays from a distant quasar traveling toward Earth and the Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown as waves of colored light. As they pass through a cloud of intergalactic gas, which appears as the white, filamentary structure, some of the X-rays are absorbed. Chandra can measure the amount of dimming in the X-rays due to oxygen ions in the cloud. This allows astronomers to estimate the temperature, density, and mass of the absorbing gas, which is part of an intergalactic web of hot gas and dark matter that contains most of the material in the universe.
[Runtime: 0:19]
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Page 12