The International X-ray Observatory: Its science objectives and instrumentation

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 – 3:15pm
Reiss 502
William W. Zhang
Astrophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD 20771

The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) is a major space telescope for the next decade. It is a collaborative effort of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). It is designed to revolutionize the X-ray studies of black holes, chemical evolution of matter in the universe, as well as astrophysical phenomena in our own galaxy and solar neighborhood. It will carry an X-ray mirror assembly with unprecedented collection area and a suite of instruments with unprecedented energy resolution and efficiency, including a micro-calorimeter array, an X-ray grating spectrometer, a polarimeter, and a high resolution timing detector that measures the arrival time of every photon with micro-second accuracy. In this talk I will describe all these aspects of the mission. In particular I will describe the process of making the X-ray mirror assembly, which has been my area of research and development for the past decade.

Host: Lydia Chiao-Yap