The first SRG/eROSITA X-ray image

On August 26, 2019 the first X-ray image was obtained by one of the seven eROSITA telescope modules  on board the Spektr-RG space observatory. 

The image of the UDS field with an area of the order of one square degree clearly shows dozens of X-ray sources, mainly active galactic nuclei and quasars. The image was obtained with the exposure of about 2000 seconds in the 0.5–2 keV energy range. Data obtained by Russian and German consortiums of the SRG/eROSITA mission.

The first X-ray image obtained by one of the seven eROSITA telescope modules on board the Spektr-RG space observatory in the 0.5-2 keV energy range. Data obtained by Russian and German consortiums of the SRG/eROSITA mission.

SRG/ART-XC continues to see activity from Sgr A*

ATel #13039M. Pavlinsky on behalf of the ART-XC collaboration (Space Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, Russia)

The ART-XC telescope onboard Spektr-RG space observatory continues to monitor the Galactic center region after reports on Sgr A* flaring activity (ATel #13007, #12768).

Recent ART-XC observations of Sgr A* on August 15-16 (2019-08-14T23:40 – 2019-08-15T14:00 and 2019-08-15T23:40 – 2019-08-16T14:00, UTC) with total exposure of 50 ks each, demonstrate source average 5-16 keV flux at the level of 1.6×10-11 erg cm-2 s-1, which corresponds to the luminosity of 1.4×1035 erg s-1 , assuming a distance of 8.5 kpc. This measurement of the source luminosity is comparable to that observed with ART-XC on August 12 (ATel #13023). We also see a small flux variability at the level of 15% on the timescale of a few hours. More detailed information will be provided in the corresponding publication, which is under preparation.

Multi-wavelength observations are encouraged; next time when ART-XC will observe Sgr A* is between 2019-08-22T05:46 and 2019-08-22T15:20 UTC.

The first scientific publication: SRG/ART-XC observes activity from Sgr A*

The SRG/ART-XC collaboration sent its first astronomic “telegram” on observing the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* in the center of the Milky Way.

ATel #13023; M. Pavlinsky on behalf of ART-XC collaboration (IKI RAS, Moscow)
on 13 Aug 2019; 21:56 UT

Following the recent report on Sgr A* flaring activity (ATel #13007, #12768) ART-XC telescope onboard Spektr-RG observed the Galactic center region for 50 ks during the period between 2019-08-11 22:27:50 UTC and 2019-08-12 13:19:12 UTC

We found Sgr A* in unusually active state: using absorbed power-law spectral model (slope Γ=2, following Zhang+17) we estimated mean flux in 5-16 keV band as (1.6±0.2)x10-11 erg cm-2 s-1, which corresponds to the unabsorbed bolometric luminosity of 2×1035 erg s-1 (0.1-20 keV), assuming a distance of 8.5 kpc.

We also noticed variability on timescale of few kiloseconds.
Because of preliminary calibration status of ART-XC more accurate details will be provided in the following article.

Multi-wavelength observations are encouraged; ART-XC will observe Sgr A* between 14.08.2019 23:40 and 15.08.2019 15:20 UTC

The new image obtained by ART-XC

During the ART-XC calibration observations on August 3, the collaboration received a new scientific image:

 Centaur X-3
The X-Ray pulsar Centaur X-3 (Cen X-3) in the ART-XC telescope central field of view.

As of August 7, 2019, the Spektr-RG spacecraft was continuing its flight to the L2 Sun – Earth system libration point area, the onboard equipment being adjusted. The ART-XC telescope creators expect to receive the images from the second telescope, eROSITA, to collate the fields of view of both telescopes.

eROSITA, the second telescope of the project was created in Germany. The spacecraft has already opened the lid used to cover the mirror systems entrance openings. eROSITA is expected to send its first images in mid-September.

Spektr-RG is a Russian-German joint project to create a space astrophysical observatory aimed to explore the Universe in the X-Ray electromagnetic radiation spectrum around the Sun – Earth system L2 point. The spacecraft was launched on July 13 2019 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Spectr-RG and DM-03 from the Earth

The first passage of the Spectr-RG space observatory over the territory of Russia from 21:18 to 02:40 MSK was observed by the head of the Kuban State University Observatory (KubSU) Alexander Ivanov with a 254 mm / 1200 mm Maksutov–Cassegrain telescope installed at the KubSU observatory. The video shows the passage of the upper stage DM-03 and the Spektr-RG observatory, moving along the constellation Vulpecula, a densely populated part of the Milky Way:

Averaged image of the DM-03 upper stage and Spectr-RG on July 13, 2019 from 21:18 to 02:40 MSK:

Roscosmos: Pre-launch tests at Baikonur

Roscosmos and space industry specialists perform pre-launch tests of the Proton-M vehicle with the Spectr-RG observatory at the Baikonur cosmodrome.  In particular, a cycle of planned tests and additional checks of all the launch vehicle systems, the DM-03 upper stage and the observatory are carried out.

However, during the final phase of the ground tests, an issue on the launch missile was revealed, which required additional time to eliminate.

Source: Roscosmos


RIA Novosti reported that the issue with discharged battery has been resolved

The RIA Novosti news agency reported, that the discharged KhIT battery, which had required to postpone the launch of the Spektr-RG observatory to a backup date on July 12, was replaced by specialists at the Baikonur cosmodrome.

“The chemical current source has been replaced. The re-erect of the rocket to the launch pad is planned on July 8. The launch is scheduled on July 12 at 15.31 Moscow time,” said the agency source.