24 February 2003 Kronos: a multiwavelength observatory for mapping accretion-driven sources
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Abstract
Kronos is a multiwavelength observatory proposed as a NASA Medium Explorer. Kronos is designed to make use of the natural variability of accreting sources to create microarcsecond-resolution maps of the environments of supermassive black holes in active galaxies and stellar-size black holes in binary systems and to characterize accretion processes in Galactic compact binaries. Kronos will obtain broad energy range spectroscopic data with co-aligned X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical spectrometers. The high-Earth orbit of Kronos enables well-sampled, high time-resolution observations, critical for the innovative and sophisticated methods that are used to understand the accretion flows, mass outflows, jets, and other phenomena found in accreting sources. By utilizing reverberation mapping analysis techniques, Kronos produces advanced high-resolution maps of unprecedented resolution of the extreme environment in the inner cores of active galaxies. Similarly, Doppler tomography and eclipse mapping techniques characterize and map Galactic binary systems, revealing the details of the physics of accretion processes in black hole, neutron star, and white dwarf binary systems. The Kronos instrument complement, sensitivity, and orbital environment make it suitable to aggressively address time variable phenomena in a wide range of astronomical objects from nearby flare stars to distant galaxies.
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Bradley M. Peterson, Ronald S. Polidan, Edward Larry Robinson, "Kronos: a multiwavelength observatory for mapping accretion-driven sources", Proc. SPIE 4854, Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation, (24 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460260; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460260
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