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W. Cash (University of Colorado), N. White (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center), Marshall Joy (NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center)
We describe the two observatories of the Micro Arcsecond X-ray Imaging Mission (MAXIM) Program. The first, MAXIM Pathfinder, is designed to use x-ray interferometry to image the sky at 100 micro-arcsecond resolution in the 0.5-1.5keV band with about 100 square centimeters of collecting area. With this spatial resolution, which represents a thousandfold improvement, it will be possible to image the coronae of nearby stars and the accretion disks of AGN's. The system optics are described and laboratory x-ray fringes that demonstrate the feasibility are shown. We discuss the mission architecture and how the stringent pointing requirements will be met. The second mission (the full MAXIM)will also be introduced. Its goal is to image x-rays with better than one micro-arcsecond resolution and capture the first pictures of the event horizons in active galactic nuclei.
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