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Fig. 1

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Galactic positions of the XMM-Newton fields over-plotted on top of the Galactic extinction map from Schlegel et al. (1998) shown in Aitoff projection running in Galactic longitude from  − 180° to 180°. The optically bright and faint samples (see Sect. 3) are shown in red and blue respectively. The symbol size is proportional to the number of XMM-Newton sources detected in each field. Numbers indicate the field as listed in Table 1.

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