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Proceedings Paper

Wide field x-ray telescope mission
Author(s): Stephen S. Murray; Colin Norman; Andrew Ptak; Riccardo Giacconi; Martin Weisskopf; Brian Ramsey; Mark Bautz; Alexey Vikhliniin; Niel Brandt; Piero Rosati; Harold Weaver; Steve Allen; Kathryn Flanagan
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Paper Abstract

The Wide Field X-Ray Telescope (WFXT) will carry out an unprecedented X-ray survey of galaxy clusters and groups, AGNs and QSOs, and galaxies. WFXT is a medium-class strategic mission that will address key questions in both Cosmic Origins and Physics of the Cosmos. WFXT will be orders of magnitude more effective than previous X-ray missions in performing surveys to a given limiting flux. The angular resolution of ~5" will be finer than provided by any currently planned large-area X-ray survey and highly efficient at discriminating AGNs and QSOs from extended emission from sources such as galaxies and clusters. The Burrows, Burg and Giacconi ideal optical solution gives an approximately constant angular resolution of 3-5 arc seconds across a field of 1-1.5 degrees diameter. A preliminary telescope design provides a resulting grasp an order of magnitude larger than current or future missions. We plan a combination of three surveys and, at each flux limit, WFXT will cover orders of magnitude more area than all previous and planned missions, with the deep 100 deg2 survey reaching the same flux limit as the deepest Chandra surveys to date. The WFXT mission addresses key cosmological and astrophysical science objectives including: the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies with the associated cosmological and astrophysical implications; black hole formation and evolution; the interaction of black-hole driven AGNs with cluster and galaxy properties; and the high-energy stellar component and the hot ISM phase of galaxies WFXT is a mission for the entire astronomical community. The data from these surveys will be made readily available to the community in timely data releases to be used in a multitude of multi-waveband studies that will revolutionize astronomy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2008
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 7011, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 70111J (15 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789122
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen S. Murray, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Colin Norman, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Andrew Ptak, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Riccardo Giacconi, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Martin Weisskopf, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Brian Ramsey, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Mark Bautz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
Alexey Vikhliniin, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Niel Brandt, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Piero Rosati, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Harold Weaver, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Steve Allen, Stanford Univ., Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (United States)
Kathryn Flanagan, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7011:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Martin J. L. Turner; Kathryn A. Flanagan, Editor(s)

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