X-ray AstROnomy - McGill University Astrophysics and Cosmology

Report
Vicky Kaspi
McGill University
Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology
X-RAY ASTRONOMY:
UPCOMING MISSIONS
Overview
 Introduction to X-ray astronomy
 NuSTAR
 Astro-H
 NICER
 Other missions
Astronomy with X-rays
 The most energetic, violent
Optical sky: calm, unchanging
objects in the Universe
produce X-rays
 Black holes, neutron stars
 Active galaxies, galaxy clusters
 The X-ray sky highly volatile:
objects explode,
appear/disappear daily
 Extremes of:
 Gravity
 Density
 Temperature
 Magnetic field
Magnetic Explosions on a Neutron Star:
Less calm, highly variable
X-ray Astronomy: Space-based
X-ray Telescopes: Space-Based
 Must be in space
as X-rays cannot
penetrate atmosphere
 X-rays hard to focus!
 Need special telescope
geometries, materials
Chandra X-ray Telescope
Focusing X-rays
Currently Flying X-ray Telescopes
XMM-Newton
Chandra
MAXI
NuSTAR
Suzaku
Swift
X-ray Sources
 Stellar mass black holes and neutron star




accreting from companion stars
Isolated neutron stars like pulsars & magnetars
Supernova remnants
Active galactic nuclei
Galaxy clusters
Next: High Energy Groove
NASA Outreach movie: made & performed by astronomers,
factually accurate, artist & real data combined, clearly illustrates
changing X-ray sky, note McGill’s contribution!
High Energy Groove
Currently Flying X-ray Telescopes
XMM-Newton
Chandra
MAXI
NuSTAR
Suzaku
Swift
Launched June 2012
NASA’s NuSTAR: The Future is Now!
 Launched June 14, 2012
 First focusing “hard” X-
ray telescope
 “hard” = high-energy
5-80 keV
 ~100X more sensitive
Yesterday
than previous hard X-ray
telescopes
 10-m focal length: long!
 How to launch??
Today
NuSTAR: Newest X-ray Telescope
 NuSTAR in Space
 NuSTAR Pegasus Launch
For more on NuSTAR & its science goals
see poster by Dr. Hongjun An
NuSTAR First Light: Cyg X-1
Astro-H: Launch 2015
 Next major X-ray
mission
 Joint JAXA/NASA with
international
involvement including
Canadian Space Agency
 Complex mission with
4 different instruments
Astro-H: Broad energy response
 Multiple instruments:
 Soft X-ray Spectrometer
 0.3-12 keV, 1.7’ angular resolution, 7 eV@ 6 keV
 Hard X-ray Imagers
 5-80 keV, 1.7’ angular resolution, 1.5 keV @ 60 keV
 Soft X-ray Imager
 0.4-12 keV, 1.7’ angular resolution
 Soft Gamma-Ray Detector
 40-600 keV, non-imaging
All instruments co-aligned:
observers get data from all detectors.
Astro-H
Takahashi et al. 2010
Astro-H Canadian Involvement
 Top recommendation




of CSA-sponsored report
Ottawa-based NEPTEC
building laser metrology
system
CSA cost $6M
Canadians leading
multiple SWGs
Canadians have access to
PV data and propose
for Japanese time
Astro-H Science Goals
 Large Scale Structure in the Universe, Dark
Matter & Dark Energy
 Galaxy Cluster dynamics, evolution
 Supermassive black hole evolution
 Extreme Conditions in the Universe
 Motion of matter near black holes
 Shock acceleration, jets
 Neutron star spectra, binaries
NEW! NASA’s NICER
 Neutron Star Internal
Composition Explorer
 Approved for
construction Apr 5!
 To be installed on
International Space
Station
 Expected launch
December 2016
 Deputy PI Z.
Arzoumanian,
McGill Physics Alum!
International Space Station
FRAM = Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism
ELC = ExPRESS Logistics Carrier (power, telemetry)
Gendreau et al. 2012
NICER Science Goals
 Low energy (0.2-12 keV) X-ray mission tailored for
understanding neutron star structure, composition
 Factor of ~2 more sensitive than current most
sensitive XMM-Newton
Gendreau et al. 2012
NICER: Combined Capability
 Unique capability
combination:
 Sensitivity
 Time resolution
 Energy resolution
 Will allow detailed
observations of
emission from
neutron stars’ surfaces
 constraints on
unknown properties of
ultradense matter
Gendreau et al. 2012
Upcoming & Envisioned
X-ray Missions
 Upcoming:
ASTROSAT
 ASTROSAT – Indian mission with significant CSA
eRosita
involvement; 5 instruments; launch 2014?
 e-ROSITA – German instrument to launch on Russian
Spectrum Roentgen Gamma mission in 2014; will do all
sky survey in soft X-ray band
 HMXT – 1st Chinese astronomy satellite, non-imaging
20-200 keV; launch 2014-2016
ATHENA
 Envisioned:
 ATHENA – ESA Advanced Telescope for High-Energy
Astrophysics; formerly Constellation-X, Xeus, IXO
 high throughput (3 m2) X-ray spectroscopy + WFI
 LOFT – ESA Large Observatory for X-ray Timing
 LAD 12 m2 for timing; WFM large FOV
LOFT
Summary
 Near-term X-ray astronomy healthy
 Multiple major missions flying, several interesting
upcoming missions planned
 Long-term situation unclear:
 2 major ESA concepts being promoted
 Good news: CSA already cooperates with ESA
 Bad news: CSA presently in state of flux
 No major NASA X-ray mission under development
 US budgetary constraints problematic
 NASA “Physics of the Cosmos” Program charged with
identifying next X-ray advance…
 Stay tuned!

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