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D. L. Windt (Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory), G. E. Sommargren (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
We describe a new technical approach for observations of Galactic and extra-Galactic soft X-ray sources with ultra-high angular resolution. The technique is based on the use of recently developed (and commercially available) diffraction-limited, normal-incidence mirror substrates, and ultra-short-period multilayer coatings tuned to specific bright emission lines in the range 16-40 A, for the construction of a diffraction-limited X-ray telescope. Sub-milliarcsecond resolution could be achieved in a moderately-sized Cassegrain or prime-focus geometry, while resolution of order 0.01 micro-arcseconds could be achieved using a synthetic aperture X-ray interferometer constructed from an array of such telescopes spread over a 50 km baseline. We will describe the technical approach in detail, outline some of the observations that would become possible with the proposed instrumentation, and discuss possibilities for near-term implementation.
This research is funded in part by a grant from NASA.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.