Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Athena to study the hot and energetic Universe
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jul 08, 2014


Artist's impression of a galaxy that is releasing material via two strong jets (shown in red/orange) as well as through wide-angle outflows (shown in grey/blue). Both jets and outflows are being driven by the black hole at the galaxy's centre. Black holes, which lurk unseen at the centres of almost all galaxies, are regarded as one of the keys to understanding galaxy formation and evolution. Image courtesy ESA/AOES Medialab.

ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics as its second 'Large-class' science mission. The observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe and takes the 'L2' slot in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-25 plan, with a launch foreseen in 2028.

By combining a large X-ray telescope with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, Athena will address key questions in astrophysics, including: how and why does ordinary matter assemble into the galaxies and galactic clusters that we see today? How do black holes grow and influence their surroundings? Scientists believe that black holes lurk at the centre of almost all galaxies and that they play a fundamental role in their formation and evolution.

To investigate this connection, Athena will observe X-ray emission from very hot material just before it is swallowed by a black hole, measuring distortions due to gravitational light-bending and time-delay effects in this extreme environment. Athena will also be able to determine the spin of the black hole itself.

Athena's powerful instruments will also allow unprecedented studies of a wide range of astronomical phenomena. These include distant gamma-ray bursts, the hot gas found in the space around clusters of galaxies, the magnetic interplay between exoplanets and their parent stars, Jupiter's auroras and comets in our own Solar System.

"Athena will be a state-of-the-art observatory that will provide a significant leap forward in scientific capabilities compared with previous X-ray missions, and will address fundamental open questions in astrophysics," says Alvaro Gimenez, ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

"Its selection ensures that Europe's success in the field of X-ray astronomy is maintained far beyond the lifetime of our flagship observatory XMM-Newton." The selection process for L2 began in March 2013, when ESA issued a call to the European science community to suggest the scientific themes to be pursued by the Cosmic Vision programme's second and third Large missions.

In November 2013, the theme of "the hot and energetic Universe" was selected for L2 for a launch in 2028, with "the gravitational Universe" selected for L3 and a planned launch in 2034. Now officially selected for L2, Athena now moves into a study phase. Once the mission design and costing have been completed, it will eventually be proposed for 'adoption' in around 2019, before the start of construction.

After launch, Athena will travel to its operational orbit around the gravitationally semi-stable location in space some 1.5 million kilometres beyond Earth as seen from the Sun - a position coincidentally known as L2. ESA's Herschel, Planck and Gaia missions have also used L2 orbits.

.


Related Links
ESA's Cosmic Vision
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Spectral 'ruler' is first standardized way to measure stars
Cambridge, UK (SPX) Jul 08, 2014
Previously, as with the longitude problem 300 years earlier for fixing locations on Earth, there was no unified system of reference for calibrating the heavens. But now, when investigating the atmospheric structure and chemical make-up of stars, astronomers can use a new stellar scale as a 'ruler' - making it much easier for them to classify and compare data on star discoveries. In fact, t ... read more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA LRO's Moon As Art Collection Is Revealed

Solar photons drive water off the moon

55-year old dark side of the moon mystery solved

New evidence supporting moon formation via collision of 2 planets

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Rover Uses Arm to Study Several Rocks and Takes Panoramic Images

ADS complete heat shields for 2016 ExoMars mission

Martian salts must touch ice to make liquid water

First LDSD Test Flight a Success

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Sun Sends More 'Tsunami Waves' to Voyager 1

Privately funded solar spacecraft to launch in 2016

Space Launch System Core Stage Passes Critical Design Review

Taiwan's tourism revenue hits record high in 2013

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Chinese moon rover designer shooting for Mars

Yutu designer's bittersweet

Are China's Astronauts Moonbound

Chinese scientists prepare for lunar base life support system

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Orbital Targets July 11 For ISS Commercial Resupply Mission

Space junk damages ISS US segment

NASA Television Coverage Set for Orbital-2 Mission to Space Station

Spot the Space Station looking at you

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
RUAG Space wins major Ariane 5 payload fairing contract

Final ATV loaded with cargo after integration on Ariane 5

Russia Launches Rokot Carrier Rocket with Three Satellites

Eco-Friendly 'Angara' Rocket Installed On Plesetsk Launch Pad

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Newfound Frozen World Orbits in Binary Star System

Discovery expands search for Earth-like planets

Astronomers discover most Earth-like of all exoplanets

Mega-Earth in Draco Smashes Notions of Planetary Formation

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
ASC Signal Introduces Innovative Carbon-Fiber Antenna

Resolve Supplies Zoom Lenses for NASA Testing

With 'ribbons' of graphene, width matters

Even geckos can lose their grip




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.