Charting the development of the first objects from very early times into the structure we see in the Universe today is a sweeping goal of cosmology. X-ray observations are a key factor in achieving this goal: these first objects are expected to be powerful sources of X-rays and X-rays penetrate both the haze of the high z intergalactic medium, and the dust and gas expected around high z objects. These scientific goals drive the mission parameters of Generation-X, giving it an unrivaled combination of spatial, spectral resolution and sensitivity.Not only will Gen-X observe the birth of the first black holes, stars and galaxies, trace their evolution and the elements they produce. It will also probe more nearby phenomena with unparalleled precision, exploring both the most extreme objects in the universe (such as supermassive black holes, magnetars and microquasars) and the more mundane but equally important (such as protoplanetary disks and sun-like stars). Gen-X will be an extraordinarily powerful X-ray observatory for all of astrophysics.
AAS/High Energy Astrophysics Division #8
- Pub Date:
- August 2004