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The science objectives of Athena are to:
  • explore the extreme physical conditions around supermassive black holes, and determine the contribution of accretion power to the energy budget of the universe.

  • map the large scale structure of the universe, and reveal the physical state and cosmic evolution of the hot gas which forms the major baryonic component of the cosmos.

  • determine the importance of and establish the physical mechanism behind cosmic feedback, the process which connects black holes and cosmic structures over 10 orders of magnitude in physical size.

Simulated 1Ms and 300ks Athena/WFI images of the Chandra Deep Field South.
The Chandra 2Ms image is shown for comparison in the right panel.
The RGB colors correspond to 0.5-2, 2-4 and 4-10 keV.

Athena is also a powerful, general-purpose observatory, able to address a wide range of current astrophysical topics.


© High-Energy-Group at MPE
last update: 24-Apr-2011, by Thomas Boller and Joachim Paul


up © Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik