Astrophysics Colloquium by Harvey Tananbaum (SAO)
SMART-X - Square Meter, Arcsecond Resolution Telescope for X-rays: Whither X-ray Astronomy post-Chandra?
Nov 29, 2012
from 04:15 PM to 05:15 PM
|Where||CAMPUS: Phys & Astrophys Bldg., 1st fl., conf rm (102/103)|
|Contact Name||Matthew Wood|
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Abstract: Over the past 13 years, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has explored hot, high energy aspects of the universe. Chandra observationsbhave deepened our understanding of topics as diverse as the co-evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies, the feedback mechanism connecting explosive activity near SMBHs with cooling of inter-galactic/cluster gas, the investigation of darkbenergy and dark matter using clusters of galaxies, the tracing of stellar evolution from star formation to supernova explosions, and the probing of matter at high density and temperature and/or in strong gravitational and magnetic fields.
While Chandra is projected to operate into the 2020's, we are also working to develop a successor with ~30 times greater collecting area, comparable angular resolution, and next generation science instruments. The SMART-X approach is focused on demonstrating a path to large-area, low-mass, reasonable-cost, sub-arcsecond x-ray mirrors. Deposition of piezoelectric material on thin glass segments already produced under the IXO mission technology efforts enable correction of the optics from 5-10" performance to sub-arcsecond. Here we present our progress to date, our plan for demonstrating required performance for a conical mirror pair over the next 3 years, a notional set of instruments for a SMART-X mission, and an overview of the potential science achievable.