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P. Gorenstein, S. Romaine (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), HXT Integral Optics Team
The Constellation X-Ray Mission’s instruments include a focusing telescope called the HXT whose bandwidth extends to ~ 70 keV. One of its functions is providing an unambiguous measure of the continuum of sources whose spectra are predominantly thermal but whose interpretation requires detailed knowledge of the continuum. This is particularly important for objects where scattering or gravitational red shifts have resulted in line broadening. Also, the hard X-ray band is important on its own in the study of the non-thermal processes that dominate the emission from AGN’s and other objects. At least two different methods of constructing the HXT mirrors are being investigated. Both are a dense set of concentric Wolter 1-like substrates that use multilayer reflective coatings. They differ in their method of producing and aligning mirror substrates and may well differ with respect to mass, effective area and angular resolution. Essentially all exposures of the HXT will be background limited. With a mass limit set by spacecraft accommodation being the principal constraint, highest sensitivity not highest effective area, the current selection criterion, should be the basis for selecting the HXT configuration from among the various options. The sensitivity is essentially the ratio of the effective area to the angular resolution. This work was supported in part by NASA Grant NNG05WC27G.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.