Future Challenges of High Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy

Dr. Mike Nowak (host Krawczynski), MIT, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
September 28, 2017 at 9:00 am
241 Compton
Event Description 

The High Energy Transmission Gratings Spectrmeter (HETGS) on Chandra and the Reflection Gratings Spectrometer (RGS) on XMM-Newton are providing a wealth of information on the structure of accretion flows and winds in compact object systems. Additionally, observations of compact object systems using these instruments are acting as probes of the interstellar medium, and have been claimed as probes of the intergalactic medium. These observations can be very challenging to analyze, owing to the complexity of the models and spectra, and the low effective area of these instruments. I describe current directions that we are pursuing with these analyses, and describe the need for a next generation of instruments. To this end, we are working on a Phase A study of a new high resolution X-ray spectroscopy mission, Arcus. Arcus promises significantly improved spectral resolution and effective area in the near future. I discuss the promise of such observations in the near future.