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K.A. Weaver, N.E. White (NASA/GSFC), H. Tananbaum (SAO)
Constellation-X is the X-ray equivalent of the Keck telescope and is planned to be a premiere X-ray spectroscopy mission. When observations begin towards the end of the next decade, they will mark the start of a new era with high resolution X-ray spectra obtained for all classes of X-ray sources over a wide range of luminosity and distance. Constellation-X will provide a factor of 100 increase in sensitivity over current high resolution X-ray spectroscopy missions. The increased instrument capabilities will enable studies of many fundamental astrophysics questions such as observing the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies, constraining the Baryon content of the Universe, determining the role of supermassive black holes in galaxy evolution, measuring the geometry of the accretion flow in active galaxies and probing the effects of strong gravity in the vicinity of black holes.
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