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The Athena X-ray Observatory: Community Support Portal

  • Athena: revealing the Hot and Energetic Universe

    Athena: revealing the Hot and Energetic Universe

  • Where are the hot baryons and how do they evolve?

  • Reveal the causes and effects of cosmic feedback

  • Track obscured accretion through the epoch of galaxy formation

  • Understand the physics of accretion onto compact objects

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News

Your opinion counts!

Survey 2018

 

After more than two years of operation of the Athena Community Office (ACO), we would like to know your opinion about our offered resources.

The aim of this survey is gathering as many opinions about our work as possible, to find out how our dissemination can drill down into the things that matter to you on X-ray astronomy.

Please send us your feedback answering this questionnaire.

Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion with us!

The second scientific conference dedicated to the Athena X-ray observatory: presentations are openly accessible to the astronomical community

Photo Athena Conf Palermo 18

 

The second scientific conference dedicated to the Athena X-ray observatory was held at Palermo (Italy) between the 24th and the 28th of September of 2018.

There were 71 scientific talks covering the following topics: Athena status, programmatic and technology, the core science of the mission, i.e, the Hot Universe and Energetic Universe, the expected observatory science and the strong synergies of Athena with other contemporary observatories all over the electromagnetic spectrum and multimessenger observatories.

The presentations in PDF format are openly accessible to the astronomical community in the Athena Document Repository under the Second Athena Conference category.

#AthenaNuggets: A DEPFET detector for Athena’s Wide Field Imager (WFI) Instrument

AN29 image

 

 

The Athena/WFI will be a very powerful survey instrument providing unprecedented simultaneous high time resolution, low-noise performance and high detection efficiency thanks to the use of active pixel sensors of DEPFET (Depleted P-channel field effect transistor) type.

In the #AthenaNuggets 29, Norbert Meidinger, the project manager of WFI, explains the relevant details of DEPFET technology in the WFI instrument.

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Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics

 

Athena (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics) is the X-ray observatory mission selected by ESA, within its Cosmic Vision programme, to address the Hot and Energetic Universe scientific theme. It is the second L(large)-class mission within that programme and is due for launch in early 2030s.

Athena will study how hot baryons assemble into groups and clusters of galaxies, determine their chemical enrichment across cosmic time, measure their mechanical energy and characterise the missing baryons which are expected to reside in intergalactic filamentary structures. At the same time, it will study the physics of accretion into compact objects, find the earliest accreting supermassive black holes and trace their growth even when in very obscured environment, and show how they influence the evolution of galaxies and clusters through feedback processes. Athena will also have a fast target of opportunity observational capability, enabling studies and usage of GRBs and other transient phenomena. As an observatory, Athena will offer vital information on high-energy phenomena on all classes of astrophysical objects, from solar system bodies to the most distant objects known. See Science chapter for more details.

Athena will consist of a single large-aperture grazing-incidence X-ray telescope, utilizing a novel technology (High-performance Si pore optics) developed in Europe, with 12m focal length and 5 arcsec HEW on-axis angular resolution. The focal plane contains two instruments. One is the Wide Field Imager (WFI) providing sensitive wide field imaging and spectroscopy and high count-rate capability. The other one is the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU) delivering spatially resolved high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy over a limited field of view. See Mission chapter for more details.

With its unparalleled capabilities, Athena will be a truly transformational observatory, operating in conjunction with other large observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum available in the early 2030s (like ALMA, ELT, JWST, SKA, CTA, etc).