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Athena papers

Athena papers

"Multi-parameter Nonlinear Gain Correction of X-ray Transition Edge Sensors for the X-ray Integral Field Unit", by E. Cucchetti

180427ECucchettiAbstract: "With its array of 3840 Transition Edge Sensors (TESs), the Athena X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) will provide spatially resolved high-resolution spectroscopy (2.5 eV up to 7 keV) from 0.2 to 12 keV, with an absolute energy scale accuracy of 0.4 eV. Slight changes in the TES operating environment can cause significant variations in its energy response function, which may result in systematic errors in the absolute energy scale. We plan to monitor such changes at pixel level via onboard X-ray calibration sources and correct the energy scale accordingly using a linear or quadratic interpolation of gain curves obtained during ground calibration. However, this may not be sufficient to meet the 0.4 eV accuracy required for the X-IFU. In this contribution, we introduce a new two-parameter gain correction technique, based on both the pulse-height estimate of a fiducial line and the baseline value of the pixels. Using gain functions that simulate ground calibration data, we show that this technique can accurately correct deviations in detector gain due to changes in TES operating conditions such as heat sink temperature, bias voltage, thermal radiation loading and linear amplifier gain. We also address potential optimisations of the onboard calibration source and compare the performance of this new technique with those previously used."

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"Chasing the observational signatures of seed black holes at z greater than 7: candidate observability", by R. Valiante et al

ChasingTheObservationalAbstract: "Observing the light emitted by the first accreting black holes (BHs) would dramatically improve our understanding of the formation of quasars at z > 6, possibly unveiling the nature of their supermassive black hole (SMBH) seeds. In previous works we explored the relative role of the two main competing BH seed formation channels, Population III remnants (low-mass seeds) and direct collapse BHs (high-mass seeds), investigating the properties of their host galaxies in a cosmological context. Building on this analysis, we predict here the spectral energy distribution and observational features of low- and high-mass BH seeds selected among the progenitors of a z~6 SMBH. We derive the processed emission from both accreting BHs and stars by using the photo-ionization code Cloudy, accounting for the evolution of metallicity and dust-to-gas mass ratio in the interstellar medium of the host galaxies, as predicted by the cosmological data- constrained model GAMETE/QSOdust. We show how future missions like JWST and ATHENA will be able to detect the light coming from SMBH progenitors already at z~16. We build upon previous complementary studies and propose a method based on the combined analysis of near infrared (NIR) colors, IR excess (IRX) and UV continuum slopes (i.e. color-color and IRX-Beta diagrams) to distinguish growing seed BH host galaxies from starburst-dominated systems in JWST surveys. Sources selected through this criterion would be the best target for follow-up X-ray observations."

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"Hitomi Observations of the LMC SNR N132D: Highly Redshifted X-ray Emission from Iron Ejecta", by Hitomi Collaboration

Hitomi CollaborationAbstract: "We present Hitomi observations of N132D, a young, X-ray bright, O-rich core-collapse supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Despite a very short observation of only 3.7 ks, the Soft X-ray Spectrometer (SXS) easily detects the line complexes of highly ionized S K and Fe K with 16-17 counts in each. The Fe feature is measured for the first time at high spectral resolution. Based on the plausible assumption that the Fe K emission is dominated by He-like ions, we find that the material responsible for this Fe emission is highly redshifted at ~800 km/s compared to the local LMC interstellar medium (ISM), with a 90% credible interval of 50-1500 km/s if a weakly informative prior is placed on possible line broadening. This indicates (1) that the Fe emission arises from the supernova ejecta, and (2) that these ejecta are highly asymmetric, since no blue-shifted component is found. The S K velocity is consistent with the local LMC ISM, and is likely from swept-up ISM material. These results are consistent with spatial mapping that shows the He-like Fe concentrated in the interior of the remnant and the S tracing the outer shell. The results also show that even with a very small number of counts, direct velocity measurements from Doppler-shifted lines detected in extended objects like supernova remnants are now possible. Thanks to the very low SXS background of ~1 event per spectral resolution element per 100 ks, such results are obtainable during short pointed or slew observations with similar instruments. This highlights the power of high-spectral-resolution imaging observations, and demonstrates the new window that has been opened with Hitomi and will be greatly widened with future missions such as the X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM) and Athena."

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"Finding counterparts for all-sky X-ray surveys with NWAY: a Bayesian algorithm for cross-matching multiple catalogues", by M. Salvato et al

MSalvato mnras v473 Abstract: "We release the AllWISE counterparts and Gaia matches to 106 573 and 17 665 X-ray sources detected in the ROSAT 2RXS and XMMSL2 surveys with |b| > 15°. These are the brightest X-ray sources in the sky, but their position uncertainties and the sparse multi-wavelength coverage until now rendered the identification of their counterparts a demanding task with uncertain results. New all-sky multi-wavelength surveys of sufficient depth, like AllWISE and Gaia, and a new Bayesian statistics based algorithm, NWAY, allow us, for the first time, to provide reliable counterpart associations. NWAY extends previous distance and sky density based association methods and, using one or more priors (e.g. colours, magnitudes), weights the probability that sources from two or more catalogues are simultaneously associated on the basis of their observable characteristics. Here, counterparts have been determined using a Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) colour-magnitude prior. A reference sample of 4524 XMM/Chandra and Swift X-ray sources demonstrates a reliability of ∼94.7 per cent (2RXS) and 97.4 per cent (XMMSL2). Combining our results with Chandra-COSMOS data, we propose a new separation between stars and AGN in the X-ray/WISE flux-magnitude plane, valid over six orders of magnitude. We also release the NWAY code and its user manual. NWAY was extensively tested with XMM-COSMOS data. Using two different sets of priors, we find an agreement of 96 per cent and 99 per cent with published Likelihood Ratio methods. Our results were achieved faster and without any follow-up visual inspection. With the advent of deep and wide area surveys in X-rays (e.g. SRG/eROSITA, Athena/WFI) and radio (ASKAP/EMU, LOFAR, APERTIF, etc.) NWAY will provide a powerful and reliable counterpart identification tool."

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Papers related with Athena

Your Athena related publications: Please inform us about your Athena related publications. They will posted in our web site and in the Athena social media.

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Overview papers

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Athena mission proposal and white paper

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Athena supporting papers

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