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Nuggets Gallery

In this section, you will find illustrations released in the #AthenaNuggets.

Back to Athena Gallery


  • Predictions for the redshifts and luminosities of ~600,000 AGN that will be identified with a multilayered 1-year Athena WFI survey, including >400 sources at z > 6, compared to current Chandra and XMM-Newton surveys. Credit: Aird, Comastri et al. 2013 arXiv1306.232. Updated by Andrea Merloni (MPE) (2017). More info
  • Composite of eight stills from the simulation of the tidal disruption of a white dwarf star by an intermediate-mass black hole by Rosswog, Ramirez-Ruiz & Rix (2009, DOI , © AAS. Reproduced with permission) . More info
  • Artistic impression of material falling into a supermassive black hole in the centre of a galaxy (not to scale). Credits: NASA/Aurore Simonnet, Sonoma State University. More info
  • Left: Pictorial representation energy released by the SMBH at the center of the galaxy, via collimated and uncollimated winds. Right: simulation of the X-ray spectrum resulting from a system showing two types of X-ray winds. Credit: ESA/AOES Medialab. More info
  • Spectrum: A simulated X-IFU X-ray spectrum of a medium bright afterglow at z=7, characterized by deep narrow resonant lines of Fe, Si, S, Ar, Mg, from the gas in the environment of the GRB. Background: 100 ks Chandra Deep Field South WFI simulation. Credit: Jonker, O’Brien et al. 2013: arXiv 1306.2336 & WFI Team. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Expected abundances measured by Athena in a bright ‘local’ cluster of galaxies. The color bars show which fraction of the element is produced by either core-collapse supernovae (SN cc, green), type Ia supernovae (SNIa, blue) or Asymptotic Giant Branch stars (AGB, red). Credit: J. de Plaa (SRON). More info
  • The Hitomi SXS spectrum of highly-ionized iron ions is superimposed on an enhanced Chandra X-ray image of the Perseus cluster core. The nucleus of NGC1275 is at the centre. The yellow clipped square shows the field of view of the 35 pixel SXS. Credit: A.C. Fabian and Hitomi Collaboration. More info
  • Left: the production of a Mirror Module: ribbed wafers are stacked in an SPO module and 4 are combined in two pairs to form a Mirror Module. Right: front view of the Mirror Assembly Module showing the > 1000 MM required to reach the 2m2 effective area at 1 keV. Credit: R. Willingale and ACO Team. More info
  • Spin as a probe of SMBH growth history. The theoretical expectations for each SMBH growth scenario (dotted histograms) is shown (Berti & Volonteri 2008) and compared to simulated Athena measurements (solid histograms), accounting realistically for all observational errors and spectral complexities. Credit: G. Miniutti. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Athena/WFI design drawing showing the main subsystems of the instrument. ICPU stands for 'Instrument Control and Power Distribution Unit'. Date: March 2017; Credit: WFI Team. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Reconstructed bulk motion map of the hot gas in a galaxy cluster from a simulated Athena X-ray Field Unit (X-IFU) observation. Courtesy: P. Peille, E. Pointecouteau, V. Biffi, E. Rasia, K. Dolag, S. Borgani, J. Wilms. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Engineering Model cooler developed for the SAFARI instrument on-board the SPICA satellite. 3D views: Credit F. Bancel (SBT). Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Right: Artist’s impression of Jupiter’s X-ray aurora and the magnetosphere. Left: Images of Jupiter’s X-ray aurora during varying solar wind conditions in 2011 [Dunn et al. 2016] overlaid on visible images of Jupiter from the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: JAXA & NASA: STScI/CXC. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Artist’s impression of an equatorial accretion disc wind as observed in X-ray binaries and a simulated X-IFU spectrum in the Fe region. Credit: image (Chandra/NASA). Inset: Fig. 2, Motch et al 2013. More info
  • Preliminary spectra of the background in the Athena Instruments. Left - X-IFU background for different configurations of the FPA. Right - WFI background showing contributions from different particle populations. Credit: A. von Kienlin and the WFI team. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • A multicolour Subaru/FOCAS image of the shell-like bubble MH9-11 around the ultra-luminous X-ray source Holmberg IX X-1. Credit: Grisé et al. 2011, ApJ 734, 23. More info
  • Background: This artist’s impression shows how ULAS J1120+0641, a very distant quasar powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun, may have looked. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Background: WFI end-to-end M31 simulation. Credit: T. Dauser. Inset: a mosaic of 7 X-IFU pointings of 100ks each that are based on a numerically simulated massive, local galaxy cluster. Credit: E. Cucchetti, E. Pointecouteau, P. Peille & N. Clerc; numerical cluster simulations by E. Rasia, V. Biffi, S. Borgani, and K. Dolag. Compositon: ACO Team. More info
  • SIXTE simulation of a single 100ks Athena/WFI pointing of the Chandra Deep Field South. Galaxy groups and clusters identified in the field are visible as extended red (i.e. soft) sources. Credit: WFI Team. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Left: Photograph of a prototype array developed for the X-IFU demonstration unit. Right: Resistance vs temperature curve of a typical TES phase transition. Credit: X-IFU Team. More info
  • Simulated emission of X-rays (pink colors) and radio waves (green) for a portion of a large cosmological simulations. Credit: Vazza et al. 2017. More info
  • Left: predicted number of electron-hole pairs per pixel per read-out time of the WFI generated by UV/Vis photons from early-type stars. Right Panel: FW OBF sample of the WFI imaging detector successfully tested under vibration and acoustic loads. Credit: Marco Barbera. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Left: N-body simulation of the cosmic web as traced by galaxies and active galactic nuclei. Credit: Antonis Georgakakis. Right: artistic impression of an AGN. Credit: ESA/NASA. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Background: Photograph of the detector plane, showing a kilo-pixel TESs array in the 2x40 FDM testbed. Right: Spectrum of Mn Kalpha complex with a resolution of 1.8 eV FWHM at 1.25 MHz with improved GSFC TESs. Left: Results of the 9 multiplexing demonstration. Credit: Hiroki Akamatsu. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Pie: The cosmic budget of ‘ordinary’ matter. Plots: RGS XMM-Newton spectra of 1ES 1553+113. Credits: Pie chart - ESA, Spectra - F. Nicastro, J. Kaastra, Y. Krongold et al. Nature, 558, 406 (2018). Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Right: artistic vie of a flare due to CME erupted. Credit: NASA. Left: 3D MHD (Magneto Hydro Dinamic) simulation of flaring activity occurring close to a circumstellar disk around a rotating magnetized star.Credit: S. Orlando. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Simulated wavelet filtered image of an 80 ks Athena/WFI observation. Credit: Chaoli Zhang, Miriam Ramos-Ceja, Florian Pacaud, Thomas H. Reiprich, and also the SIXTE team. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • Front: Scheme of DEPFET detector used in the Wide Field Imager (WFI). Background: SIXTE WFI simulations of the galactic center (left) and the CDSF (right). Credit: WFI Team. Composition: ACO Team. More info
  • The distribution of galaxies (left) and X-ray gas (right) predicted by the state-of-the-art computer simulation Illustris. Athena will reveal the properties of the invisible gas that fills the space between galaxies in the cosmic web. Credit: Illustris Collaboration / Illustris Simulation. More info