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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Special Section Calls for Papers

The Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS) is now accepting submissions. To submit a manuscript for consideration in a Special Section, please prepare the manuscript according to the journal guidelines and use the Online Submission SystemLeaving site. A cover letter indicating that the submission is intended for this special section should be included with the paper. Papers will be peer‐reviewed in accordance with the journal's established policies and procedures. Authors have the choice to publish with open access

View the list of special sections that have already been published on the SPIE Digital Library. 

Calls for Papers:

Polarimetry in X- and Gamma-Ray Astronomy: the Ultimate Dimension

The Hitomi X-Ray Observatory


Nonideal pulsar magnetosphere solutions shown on the poloidal plane (μ,Ω). The solutions shown correspond to the indicated inclination angles a. The parallel electric field component E∥ (in color scale) together with the lines of the poloidal magnetic field. The color ranges purple-green and green-red indicate antiparallel and parallel directions of E∥ (relative to the magnetic field), respectively. [From Kalapotharakos, Kazanas, Harding, and Contopoulos, “Toward a Realistic Pulsar Magnetosphere,” ApJ, 749(2) 2012, used with permission of the authors.]

Polarimetry in X- and Gamma-Ray Astronomy: the Ultimate Dimension

Guest Editors:

Stanley D. Hunter
NASA/GSFC
Mail Code 661.1
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
E-mail: stanley.d.hunter@nasa.gov

Ezio Caroli
INAF/IASF-Bologna
Via Gobetti 101,
I-40129 Bologna, Italy
E-mail: caroli@iasfbo.inaf.it

Call for Papers: When it comes to the study of electromagnetic radiation, there are 3 dimensions that can be exploited (all as a function of time): imaging, spectroscopy, and polarization. So far, only the first two have been successfully pursued (both alone or jointly) in order to study celestial objects in the x- and gamma-ray regime, while the third has for long been neglected due to the low level of expected polarization and related experimental complexities and difficulties. Even at lower energies (below 10 keV), where source photon fluxes are considerable higher, the astronomical community has been slow to embrace the potential value of polarimetry. While polarimetry at other wavebands (radio, optical) is an established technique, high-energy astrophysics lags far behind in this respect. Polarization analysis has the potential of revealing many details about the magnetic fields, geometries, and emission mechanisms found in high-energy emitting sources.

Conventional analysis of the high-energy radiation from these astronomical sites often provides two or more different models that successfully explain the observations; to discriminate between competing models, the number of observables should increase. The combined measurement of polarization angle and degree of linear polarization can provide this vital extra information: as an example, the dependence (or lack of it) of polarization on energy can help discriminate between inverse Compton and synchrotron processes, which are often at work in high-energy-emitting objects. Therefore, polarimetry can be seen as the ultimate dimension in x- and gamma-ray astronomy and should become a standard observational tool also in this energy regime. In fact, it is today widely recognized that the next generation of x- and gamma-ray instrumentation should fulfill this requirement.

The purpose of this JATIS special section is to address how observations of x- and gamma-ray polarization can contribute to our understanding of how the Universe works. In this special section we encourage contributions covering theoretical, instrumental, and observational aspects over the entire ~1 keV to ~100 TeV energy range.

Related topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The theoretical model predictions of polarization from specific objects (e.g. pulsars, blazers, AGN, GRBs, solar, etc.); observational status and requirements
  • How observations of polarization would discriminate various models
  • General x- and gamma-ray polarimetry principles
  • Experimental techniques associated with photon polarization measurement (photoelectric absorption, Compton scattering, pair production, and electromagnetic cascades)
  • Current and past scientific instruments
  • New instrument development for future astronomy space missions
  • Detector technologies and their in-flight performance; performance simulations
  • Observational aspects of future space missions including minimum detectable polarization requirements and possible advantages of multiband polarization observations
  • Science observation and calibration strategies.

All submissions will be peer reviewed. Peer review will commence immediately upon manuscript submission, with a goal of making a first decision within 6 weeks of manuscript submission. Special sections are opened online once a minimum of four papers have been accepted. Each paper is published as soon as the copyedited and typeset proofs are approved by the author. Submissions should follow the guidelines of JATIS, which can be found at http://spie.org/JATISAuthorInfo. Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://JATIS.msubmit.net. A cover letter indicating that the submission is intended for this special section should be included.

Manuscripts due 15 November 2017.

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Hitomi, courtsey of Akihiro Ikeshita

Image Credit: Akihiro Ikeshita

The Hitomi X-Ray Observatory

Guest Editors:

Richard L. Kelley
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Code 662
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, United States
E-mail: Richard.L.Kelley@nasa.gov

Kazuhiro Nakazawa
The University of Tokyo
Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
E-mail: nakazawa@juno.phys.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Call for Papers: The JAXA Hitomi X-ray Observatory was designed to provide the highest spectral resolution above 2 keV, combined with very broad, simultaneous energy bandwidth and high sensitivity. The primary goals of the mission were to provide nondispersive spectroscopy crucial for clusters of galaxies, supernova remnants, and other extended celestial sources, and to provide very-high sensitivity broadband spectra through the use of focusing x-ray optics in the hard x-ray energy band, particularly for studies of active galaxies. The instrument capabilities were developed to enable breakthroughs in high-energy astrophysics in such areas as the large-scale structure of the universe and its evolution, the behavior of matter in the gravitational strong field regime, the physical conditions in sites of cosmic-ray acceleration, and the distribution of dark matter in galaxy clusters at different redshifts. Despite the premature loss of the observatory in March 2016, scientific observations were carried out on several sources and produced both exciting results and validation of the state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Hitomi was comprised of a suite of four highly complementary instruments spanning the x-ray energy band from 0.3 to 600 keV. The Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS), developed jointly by a team led by the NASA/Goddard and JAXA's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) is a high-resolution nondispersive x-ray spectrometer operating between 0.3-12 keV. It provides very high-resolution spectroscopic capability over the energy band where all of the astrophysically abundant elements have characteristic emission lines that can be used for a wide range of spectral studies of matter under extreme conditions. Three additional scientific instruments, provided by ISAS/JAXA and numerous institutions in Japan, extend the bandpass to produce an observatory with extraordinary new capabilities. The Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) covers the same energy band as the SXS and expands the field of view of the observatory to 38 x 38 arcmin with a new generation CCD camera. Both the SXS and SXI use relatively low-mass, high-throughput x-ray optics, called soft X-ray telescopes (SXT). The Hard X-ray Imager (HXI) provides very high sensitivity imaging spectroscopy in the 5-80 keV band using specially coated x-ray optics, the Hard X-ray Telescopes (HXT). Finally, the nonimaging Soft Gamma-ray Detector (SGD) extends the observatory's energy band to 600 keV.

The purpose of this special section is to present details of the in-flight performance of the instruments and systems on board the Hitomi X-Ray Observatory. The intent is to demonstrate the viability of the state of the art instruments deployed on Hitomi for future observatories and provide sufficient depth that will be useful for the next generation of such instruments.

Related topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Instrument design, including sensor design, space cryogenics, and x-ray optics
  • Structural, thermal, and optical performance models
  • In-flight performance and findings
  • Data analysis algorithms
  • Instrument-related mission hardware and software systems
  • Lessons and improvements for future applications.

This special section focuses on technical aspects of the Hitomi mission and instrumentation. Astrophysical results from in-flight data are to be published elsewhere.

All submissions will be peer reviewed. Peer review will commence immediately upon manuscript submission, with a goal of making a first decision within 6 weeks of manuscript submission. Special sections are opened online once a minimum of four papers have been accepted. Each paper is published as soon as the copyedited and typeset proofs are approved by the author. Submissions should follow the guidelines of JATIS, which can be found at http://spie.org/JATISAuthorInfo. Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://JATIS.msubmit.net. A cover letter indicating that the submission is intended for this special section should be included.

Manuscripts due 1 August 2017.

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Published Special Sections

Future Large-Aperture Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared Space Observatory (October-December 2016)
Guest Editors: Harley Thronson, Avi Mandell, Ron Polidan, and Jason Tumlinson

WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraphs (January-March 2016)
Guest Editors: Olivier Guyon and Motohide Tamura


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