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16 July 2008 The Constellation-X Observatory
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The Constellation-X Observatory is currently planned as NASA's next major X-ray observatory to be launched towards the end of the next decade. The driving science goals for the mission are to: 1) Trace the evolution of Black Holes with cosmic time and determine their contribution to the energy output of the Universe; 2) Observe matter spiraling into Black Holes to test the predictions of General Relativity; 3) Use galaxy clusters to trace the locations of Dark Matter and follow the formation of structure as a function of distance; 4) Search for the missing baryonic matter; 5) Directly observe the dynamics of Cosmic Feedback to test models for galaxy formation; 6) Observe the creation and dispersion of the elements in supernovae; and 7) Precisely constrain the equation of state of neutron stars. To achieve these science goals requires high resolution (R > 1250) X-ray spectroscopy with 100 times the throughput of the Chandra and XMMNewton. The Constellation-X Observatory will achieve this requirement with a combination of four large X-ray telescopes on a single satellite operating in the 0.25 to 10 keV range. These telescopes will feed X-ray micro-calorimeter arrays and grating spectrometers. A hard X-ray telescope system will provide coverage up to at least 40 keV. We describe the mission science drivers and the mission implementation approach.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jay Bookbinder, Randall Smith, Anne Hornschemeier, Michael Garcia, Nicholas White, Harvey Tananbaum, Robert Petre, Suzanne Romaine, and Paul Reid "The Constellation-X Observatory", Proc. SPIE 7011, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 701102 (16 July 2008);


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