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R.E. Rothschild, W. Heindl, J. Matteson (CASS/UCSD), R. Remillard (CSR/MIT), J. Braga (INPE), R. Staubert, E. Kendziorra, J. Wilms (IAA-A/Tuebingen), J. Heise (SRON), E. Kuulkers (ESA/ESTEC)
We describe the Brazilian MIRAX X-ray astromony mission that will provide continuous, 2-200 keV imaging of more than 1000 square degrees of the central Galactic plane for 9 months/year for up to 5 years. MIRAX will have the unique capability to detect, localize, identify, and study short-lived, rare and/or unpredictable phenomena, including weak X-ray transients and fast X-ray novae. Secondary target fields (1-2 months/year while the Sun crosses the Galactic center) include the Cygnus, Vela, and Magellanic Cloud regions. MIRAX will probe neutron star and X-ray burst theory via 20,000 type I bursts and 50 rare superbursts, measure spin frequencies of accreting neutron stars with detections of 10-100 burst oscillations, and will measure explosive flares in other sources, such as active stellar coronae, Soft Gamma-ray Repeaters, fast x-ray novae, dark gamma-ray bursts, and new types yet to be discovered. The data will be publicly available via the HEASARC within days of accumulation, and Web pages announcing transients and source fluxes will be updated daily. The science, instrumentation, mission operations, and data distribution will be discussed.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.