AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 82. Planning for Future Missions: Radio to X-Ray
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[82.13U] Future X-Ray Telescopes: Fresnel Lenses and Interferometry

T.L. Smith (Chicago), S.E. Romaine (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Science goals are well established for the next generation X-ray observatories, such as Constellation-X1 and Xeus2, which are being planned as followups to the successful Chandra3 and XMM-Newton4, missions which were launched in 1999.

Both Constellation-X and Xeus observatories, planned for launch the end of this decade, emphasize large collecting area and high spectral resolution over angular resolution. Hence their angular resolution will not equal the \lesssim0.5'' of Chandra, the highest angular resolution of any X-ray observatory to date. These missions indicate a new direction for future X-ray observatories: from large general purpose observatories, such as Chandra, to missions with more focused science goals and therefore more tailored designs. Just as Constellation-X and Xeus emphasize throughput and spectral resolution, there are other designs which emphasize imaging with angular resolution surpassing Chandra's already invaluable 0.5''. This will be the emphasis of the missions to follow Constellation-X5.

Two of these designs, Fresnel Lenses and X-ray interferometry, present optical systems which, theoretically, can reach micro-arcsecond angular resolutions. Many obstacles have stood in the way of making these designs a reality, but technology is now being developed6 which overcomes these obstacles, opening the door to X-ray imaging at unprecedented resolution. We present basic characteristics of both optical designs as well as the type of science that would benefit most from a milliarcsecond (or better) observatory.






6Cash, W., Shipley, A., Osterman, S., & Joy, M. 2000, Nature 407, 160

This work was supported in part by NSF grant AST-9731923 to the SAO Summer Intern program.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tristan@oddjob.uchicago.edu

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