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Proceedings Paper

Concepts: x-ray telescopes with high-angular resolution and high throughput
Author(s): Paul Gorenstein
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Paper Abstract

The high rate at which importatn results are emanating formthe Chandra X-ray Observatory heightens our appreciation of the significance of high angular resolution telescopes in x-ray astronomy. However, the Chandra telescope is probably the last member of a line of high resolution telescopes with a conventional architecture. Qualitative improvement upon Chandra's resolution requires a new technology. We discuss a promising approach that is capable potentially of achieving microarcsecond resolution, possibly the highest angular resolution in astronomy of any wavelength band. It is based upon x-ray optics that focus by transmission at normal incidence rather than by reflection at grazing incidence. Its components are refractive lenses and Fresnel zone plantes. Extreme chromatic aberration is intrinsic to these devices but it can be overcome in small wavelength intervals above 2 keV with a technique described by Van Speybroech and by other methods. Like x-ray interferometry these systems have extremely long focal lengths and require 'formation flying' consisting of precise positioning between the optics and detector that be aboard separate spacecraft spaced far apart. However, it is less demanding of accuracy in formation flying than x-ray interferometery. These systems have much lower mass than grazing incidence telescopes with comparable collecting area.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4851, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy, (11 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461605
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Gorenstein, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4851:
X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy
Joachim E. Truemper; Harvey D. Tananbaum, Editor(s)

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