29 January 2004 MAXIM Pathfinder: a practical configuration
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The x-ray band of the spectrum is the natural place to perform super-high resolution imaging of astronomical objects. Because x-ray sources can have very intense surface brightness and interferometers can be made with very short baselines, x-ray interferometry has great potential. We will discuss MAXIM, the Micro-Arcsecond X-ray Imaging Mission and, in particular, MAXIM Pathfinder, a coordinated pair of x-ray astronomy missions designed to exploit the potential of x-ray interferometry. We will show how it is possible to achieve huge gains in resolution using today's technology. The Pathfinder mission will achieve resolution of 100 micro-arcseconds and will image the coronae of the nearby stars. MAXIM, with a design specification of 0.1 micro-arcseconds, has the goal of imaging the event horizons of massive black holes. We will explain the architecture of a possible Pathfinder mission and describe the activities NASA is supporting in the area of x-ray interferometry.
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Webster C. Cash, Webster C. Cash, Keith C. Gendreau, Keith C. Gendreau, Ann F. Shipley, Ann F. Shipley, Dennis J. Gallagher, Dennis J. Gallagher, "MAXIM Pathfinder: a practical configuration", Proc. SPIE 5168, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy, (29 January 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.506327; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.506327


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