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Astrophysics in the 21 st Century Current directions in Space Science General purpose, high-specification Chandra Astro-E XMM (multi- l ) Integral NGST FIRST XEUS Constellation-X LISA XMM Current directions in Space Astronomy Themed observatories

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Astrophysics in the 21 st Century


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slide2

Current directions in Space Science

General purpose, high-specification

  • Chandra
  • Astro-E
  • XMM (multi-l)
  • Integral
  • NGST
  • FIRST
  • XEUS
  • Constellation-X
  • LISA

XMM

slide3

Current directions in Space Astronomy

Themed observatories

  • SWIFT (multi-l) investigating g-ray bursts
  • GAIA, FAME (Hipparcos) mapping the Galaxy
  • Planck (COBE) measuring the CMB
slide4

Directions in the future

  • Increasing trend for ‘themed’ missions
  • NASA’s ‘Great Observatories’ and ESA’s ‘Cornerstone Missions’
  • Multi-l observatories
  • Better, faster and cheaper
  • Throughput
  • Spectral and spatial resolution
  • Timing
  • Broadband simultaneity
  • Photometric conditions
  • No atmosphere / weather / moonlight
slide5

Scientific breakthroughs

Spectral + throughput + spatial

  • Cosmology
  • Relativity
  • Astroparticle physics
  • XEUS launch 2010
  • 1-10eV resolution over 0.1-30keV
  • 100x deeper than XMM
  • 2” HEW @1keV
slide6

Scientific breakthroughs

Spectral + throughput + spatial

Simulation of XEUS spectrum of OVIII line at 0.65keV in AR Lac.

100 sec exposure

slide7

Scientific breakthroughs

Spatial + throughput + spectral

Image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A taken with the Chandra spacecraft. 1” resolution.

Shows filaments of iron, silicon and sulphur – and absorption by dusty gas.

Also – evolution of clusters, galaxies & quasars

slide8

Scientific breakthroughs

Timing + throughput + spectral

Mapping structures in binary systems and the geometry of the complex gas distributions in AGN

slide9

Astronomer’s wishlist

  • Multi-l data now essential for many classes of object
  • High throughput – 100x XMM from XEUS in 10 years
  • Spectral resolution – eg a few eV over 0.1-50 keV
  • Spatial resolution – 1/10 arcsec in EUV/X-rays
  • Timing resolution - ~millisecs for bright sources
  • priority for all missions
  • Essential for high-res timing and spectroscopy
  • ‘Conveyor-belt’ approach (eg Constellation-X)