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29 July 2010 NHXM: a New Hard X-ray imaging and polarimetric Mission
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The New Hard X-ray Mission (NHXM) has been designed to provide a real breakthrough on a number of hot astrophysical issues that includes: black holes census, the physics of accretion, the particle acceleration mechanisms, the effects of radiative transfer in highly magnetized plasmas and strong gravitational fields. NHXM combines fine imaging capability up to 80 keV, today available only at E<10 keV, with sensitive photoelectric imaging polarimetry. It consists of four identical mirrors, with a 10 m focal length, achieved after launch by means of a deployable structure. Three of the four telescopes will have at their focus identical spectral-imaging cameras, while a X-ray imaging polarimeter will be placed at the focus of the fourth. In order to ensure a low and stable background, NHXM will be placed in a low Earth equatorial orbit. Here we will provide an overall description of this mission and of the developments that are currently occurring in Italy. In the meanwhile we are forming an international collaboration, with the goal to have a consortium of leading Institutes and people that are at the forefront of the scientific and technological developments that are relevant for this mission.
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