AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 6 X-ray and Gamma Ray Space Missions and Technology
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[6.01] Diffractive-Refractive Optics for Higher Angular Resolution X-Ray Astronomy

P. Gorenstein (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

The 0.5 arcsec angular resolution of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory is likely to be the best that will ever be achieved with large area grazing incidence X-ray telescopes. A different technology is needed to improve upon Chandra. Diffractive-refractive optics where chromatic aberration is corrected over a finite bandwidth offers a possible solution. The efficiency of such systems is low but given that they transmit X-rays at normal incidence rather than reflect at grazing incidence the gross collecting area can be very large while the mass is quite modest. We describe some possible systems. All have extremely long focal lengths, hundreds to tens of thousands of kilometers depending on the desired angular resolution and energy band. They require formation flying between widely separated spacecraft. While the technology to support formation flying is not available today it is destined to be developed for other missions including at least one with large separations between spacecraft.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pgorenstein@cfa.harvard.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.