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H. Tananbaum (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), N. White (Goddard Space Flight Center), J. Bookbinder (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), K. Weaver, R. Petre (Goddard Space Flight Center)
The Constellation X-ray Mission is a high throughput X-ray facility emphasizing high spectral resolution (E/Delta E ~300-3000) over a broad energy band ( 0.25 - 40 keV). We provide a brief description of the mission approach and the instrumentation which will provide a factor of 100 increase in sensitivity over current high resolution spectroscopy missions. We discuss several examples of the science to be done with Constellation-X including observations of broadened iron lines from the inner region of the accretion disk around supermassive black holes; accurate measurements of abundances, temperatures, densities, and pressures in various astrophysical plasmas such as stellar coronae, supernova remnants, and clusters of galaxies; and detection of the ``missing'' baryons in the intergalactic medium via X-ray absorption features in spectra of background quasars. This work is supported by NASA NAS8-39073 and NCC5-368.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.