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Proceedings Paper

X-ray optics for WHIMex: the Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium Explorer
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Paper Abstract

The x-ray astronomy community has never flown a celestial source spectrograph that can resolve natural line widths in absorption the way the ultraviolet community did with OAO-3 Copernicus back in 1972. Yet there is important science to be mined there, and right now, the large flagship missions like the International X-ray Observatory are not progressing toward launch. WHIMEx is an Explorer concept proposed earlier this year to open up that science regime in the next few years. The concept features a modified off-plane grating spectrograph design that will support high resolution (λ/δλ ~ 4000) in the soft x-ray band with a high packing density that will enable a modest cost space mission. We discuss the design and capabilities for the WHIMEx mission. Its prime science goal is detecting high temperature oxygen in the Intergalactic Medium, but it has a broad range of science potential cutting across all of x-ray astronomy and should give us a new window on the Universe.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2011
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8147, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy V, 81471J (12 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.895014
Show Author Affiliations
W. Cash, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
R. McEntaffer, Univ. of Iowa (United States)
W. Zhang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
S. Casement, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (United States)
C. Lillie, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (United States)
M. Schattenburg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
M. Bautz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
A. Holland, Open Univ. (United Kingdom)
H. Tsunemi, Osaka Univ. (Japan)
S. O'Dell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8147:
Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy V
Stephen L. O'Dell; Giovanni Pareschi, Editor(s)

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