Micro-X, the High-Resolution Microcalorimeter X-ray Imaging Rocket, is a sounding rocket space telescope that will combine a transition-edge-sensor (TES) X-ray microcalorimeter array with a conical imaging mirror to obtain high spectral resolution images of extended and point X-ray sources. Microcalorimeters measure the energy of an absorbed photon by sensing the increase in temperature of the sensor from the thermalization of the absorbed photon's energy. The advantages and scientific promise of this technology have fueled active development for the past 20 years. We will leverage this development and take the next step by producing a flight-qualified system that will serve as a pathfinder for future missions. Our scientific program will initially focus on extended sources, for which our high-spectral-resolution observations have distinct advantages over other technologies. For our initial flight, we will observe the bright eastern knot in the Puppis A remnant, a site of complex cloud-shock interactions and ejecta enrichment. A Micro-X observation of the bright eastern knot of Puppis A will obtain a line-dominated spectrum with 90,000 counts collected in 300 seconds at 2 eV resolution across the 0.3-2.5 keV band.
- Supernova remnants
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics