Logo

The Athena X-ray Observatory: Community Support Portal

This web portal uses third-party cookies to track visits to the website only, no personal information is collected.

By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more

I understand

Use of cookies

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. The IP address will be truncated before transmission. On our behalf Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity and providing other services relating to website activity and internet activity in connection with the use of the website. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

If you do not wish to receive a cookie, or if you wish your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, you may use the option on your web browser to disable cookies. Click on the 'help' section of your browser to learn how to change cookie preferences.


E.Cuccheti

By Edoardo Cucchetti (IRAP, Toulouse, France)

What are we made of? Most of the atoms and elements we know of are formed within stars, either during their life (winds) or during powerful end-of-life phenomena called supernovae. In fact, different mechanisms of metal creation exist in the Universe and elements were not formed evenly during its history. To investigate this chemical enrichment, one must look in the X-rays at the hot gas within clusters of galaxies – the intra cluster medium (ICM) – which is continuously enriched through time by the billions of stars contained in its galaxies. However, to perform meaningful studies of the enrichment through cosmic time, a combination of a high-resolution spatially-resolved spectroscopy and a large telescope collective area is required. For this reason, the Athena/X-IFU will be the breakthrough instrument to investigate metal formation and circulation in the Universe.

In this paper, we tested the power of the X-IFU to fulfil this specific science objective. Using a set of simulated clusters derived from hydrodynamical simulations, we performed synthetic observations of this sample of objects through time, up to a redshift z=2 (10.4 billion years ago) with a completely realistic set-up (including e.g., background, instrumental effects). We demonstrated that with routine 100 ks observations, the X-IFU will be able to study the enrichment with unprecedented accuracy out to the outskirts of the clusters and provide solid answers to the origin of their metal content.

This work is paramount in the Athena context, as it shows the power of the mission in answering some of the key astrophysical questions of our time. It also serves as a feasibility study of the X-IFU, consolidating the current design and the need for spatially-resolved high-resolution spectroscopy.

Read full document.

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.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Overview papers

  • 1
  • 2

Athena mission proposal and white paper

  • 1

Athena supporting papers

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3