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The Athena Project

New official Homepage of The Athena Project at MPE


Athena Kick-off Meeting at MPE January 29/30 2014

  In March 2011 ESA announced its decision to reformulate its large mission candidates in the light of changing boundary conditions for international participation, particularly from NASA. As part of this reformulation exercise, a new study team was appointed to look into a new, large X-ray observatory called Athena (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics). A study report will be submitted to ESA at the end of 2011, for consideration by the advisory structure and an eventual decision expected by the ESA SPC in February 2012.

The baseline Athena mission consists of a pair of X-ray telescopes with two focal plane instruments, an X-ray calorimeter spectrometer (XMS) and a Wide Field Imager (WFI). The science goals of Athena are the study of energetic cosmic sources, ranging from black holes to the large scale structure of the universe. The science performance of Athena provides a major advance over currently-operating facilities in a number of respects, enabling a wide range of new scientific investigations.

ATHENA flight modul
Credit: ESA

Credit: ESA

Simulated 1Ms Athena/WFI image of the
Chandra Deep Field South

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© High-Energy-Group at MPE
last update: 3-Juni-2011, by Thomas Boller, Joachim Paul and Harald Baumgartner

up © Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

© High-Energy-Group at MPE
last update: 09-Dec-2013, by Thomas Boller and Joachim Paul

up © Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik