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Proceedings Paper

Maxim: micro-arcsecond x-ray imaging mission
Author(s): Webster C. Cash
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Paper Abstract

The x-ray band of the spectrum is the natural place to perform super-high resolution imaging of astronomical objects. Because x-ray sources can have very high surface brightness and interferometers can be made with very short baselines, x-ray interferometry has great potential. I will discuss MAXIM, the Micro-Arcsecond X-ray Imaging Mission and MAXIM Pathfinder, a coordinated pair of x-ray astronomy missions designed to exploit the potential of x-ray interferometry. We will show how it is possible to achieve huge gains in resolution using today's technology. The Pathfinder mission will achieve resolution of 100 micro-arcseconds and will image the coronae of the nearby stars. MAXIM, with a design specification of 0.1 micro-arcseconds, has the goal of imaging the event horizons of massive black holes. I will explain the architecture of the missions and describe the activities NASA is supporting in the area of x-ray interferometry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2003
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460915
Show Author Affiliations
Webster C. Cash, Univ. of Colorado/Boulder (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4852:
Interferometry in Space
Michael Shao, Editor(s)

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