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Proceedings Paper

The science goals of the Constellation-X Mission
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Paper Abstract

The Constellation-X mission will address the questions: "What happens to matter close to a black hole?" and "What is Dark Energy?" These questions are central to the NASA Beyond Einstein Program, where Constellation-X plays a central role. The mission will address these questions by using high throughput X-ray spectroscopy to observe the effects of strong gravity close to the event horizon of black holes, and to observe the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies in order to precisely determine Cosmological parameters. To achieve these primary science goals requires a factor of 25-100 increase in sensitivity for high resolution spectroscopy. The mission will also perform routine high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of faint and extended X-ray source populations. This will provide diagnostic information such as density, elemental abundances, velocity, and ionization state for a wide range of astrophysical problems. This has enormous potential for the discovery of new unexpected phenomena. The Constellation-X mission is a high priority in the National Academy of Sciences McKee-Taylor Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey of new Astrophysics Facilities for the first decade of the 21st century.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2004
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5488, UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems, (11 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550799
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas E. White, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Harvey Tananbaum, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Kimberly Weaver, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Robert Petre, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jay A. Bookbinder, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5488:
UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems
Guenther Hasinger; Martin J. L. Turner, Editor(s)

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