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Arcus: exploring the formation and evolution of clusters, galaxies, and stars

Smith, R. K. and Madsen, K. K. (2017) Arcus: exploring the formation and evolution of clusters, galaxies, and stars. In: UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX. Proceedings of SPIE. No.10397. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 103970Q.

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Arcus, a Medium Explorer (MIDEX) mission, was selected by NASA for a Phase A study in August 2017. The observatory provides high-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopy in the 12-50Å bandpass with unprecedented sensitivity: effective areas of >450 cm^2 and spectral resolution >2500. The Arcus key science goals are (1) to measure the effects of structure formation imprinted upon the hot baryons that are predicted to lie in extended halos around galaxies, groups, and clusters, (2) to trace the propagation of outflowing mass, energy, and momentum from the vicinity of the black hole to extragalactic scales as a measure of their feedback and (3) to explore how stars, circumstellar disks and exoplanet atmospheres form and evolve. Arcus relies upon the same 12m focal length grazing-incidence silicon pore X-ray optics (SPO) that ESA has developed for the Athena mission; the focal length is achieved on orbit via an extendable optical bench. The focused X-rays from these optics are diffracted by high-efficiency Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings, and the results are imaged with flight-proven CCD detectors and electronics. The power and telemetry requirements on the spacecraft are modest. Mission operations are straightforward, as most observations will be long (~100 ksec), uninterrupted, and pre-planned, although there will be capabilities to observe sources such as tidal disruption events or supernovae with a ~3 day turnaround. Following the 2nd year of operation, Arcus will transition to a proposal-driven guest observatory facility.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Madsen, K. K.0000-0003-1252-4891
Additional Information:© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). n The research leading to these results has in part received funding from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Program under the AHEAD project (grant agreement n. 654215). The Arcus team especially thanks the team at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s Stray Light Center for hosting the SPO and CAT testing, including substantial assistance with the data collection and analysis.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Smithsonian Astrophysical ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)654215
Subject Keywords:Gratings, X-rays: spectroscopy, Instrumentation
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:10397
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180108-154902629
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:R. K. Smith, M. Abraham, R. Allured, M. Bautz, J. Bookbinder, J. Bregman, L. Brenneman, N. S. Brickhouse, D. Burrows, V. Burwitz, P. N. Cheimets, E. Costantini, S. Dawson, C. DeRoo, A. Falcone, A. R. Foster, L. Gallo, C. E. Grant, H. M. Günther, R. K Heilmann, E. Hertz, B. Hine, D. Huenemoerder, J. S. Kaastra, I. Kreykenbohm, K. K. Madsen, R. McEntaffer, E. Miller, J. Miller, E. Morse, R. Mushotzky, K. Nandra, M. Nowak, F. Paerels, R. Petre, K. Poppenhaeger, A. Ptak, P. Reid, J. Sanders, M. Schattenburg, N. Schulz, A. Smale, P. Temi, L. Valencic, S. Walker, R. Willingale, J. Wilms, S. J. Wolk, "Arcus: exploring the formation and evolution of clusters, galaxies, and stars", Proc. SPIE 10397, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX, 103970Q (29 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2272818;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84178
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jan 2018 00:41
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:17

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