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STROBE-X: X-ray Timing and Spectroscopy on Dynamical Timescales from Microseconds to Years

Ray, Paul S. and Fuerst, Felix and Grefenstette, Brian (2019) STROBE-X: X-ray Timing and Spectroscopy on Dynamical Timescales from Microseconds to Years. Astro2020 Science White Paper, . (Unpublished)

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We present the Spectroscopic Time-Resolving Observatory for Broadband Energy X-rays (STROBE-X), a probe-class mission concept selected for study by NASA. It combines huge collecting area, high throughput, broad energy coverage, and excellent spectral and temporal resolution in a single facility. STROBE-X offers an enormous increase in sensitivity for X-ray spectral timing, extending these techniques to extragalactic targets for the first time. It is also an agile mission capable of rapid response to transient events, making it an essential X-ray partner facility in the era of time-domain, multi-wavelength, and multi-messenger astronomy. Optimized for study of the most extreme conditions found in the Universe, its key science objectives include: (1) Robustly measuring mass and spin and mapping inner accretion flows across the black hole mass spectrum, from compact stars to intermediate-mass objects to active galactic nuclei. (2) Mapping out the full mass-radius relation of neutron stars using an ensemble of nearly two dozen rotation-powered pulsars and accreting neutron stars, and hence measuring the equation of state for ultradense matter over a much wider range of densities than explored by NICER. (3) Identifying and studying X-ray counterparts (in the post-Swift era) for multiwavelength and multi-messenger transients in the dynamic sky through cross-correlation with gravitational wave interferometers, neutrino observatories, and high-cadence time-domain surveys in other electromagnetic bands. (4) Continuously surveying the dynamic X-ray sky with a large duty cycle and high time resolution to characterize the behavior of X-ray sources over an unprecedentedly vast range of time scales. STROBE-X's formidable capabilities will also enable a broad portfolio of additional science.

Item Type:Report or Paper (White Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ray, Paul S.0000-0002-5297-5278
Fuerst, Felix0000-0003-0388-0560
Grefenstette, Brian0000-0002-1984-2932
Additional Information:The STROBE-X mission concept study is funded by the NASA Astrophysics Probes program (16-APROBES16-0008). The Italian authors acknowledge support from ASI, under agreement ASI-INAF n.2017-14-H.O, INAF and INFN. The Spanish authors acknowledge support from MINECO grant ESP2017-82674-R and FEDER funds. A.L.S. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-1801792. A.L.W. acknowledges support from ERC Starting Grant 639217. We gratefully acknowledge the superb engineering teams at the NASA/GSFC Instrument Design Lab and Mission Design Lab, Steve Kenyon, and Takashi Okajima, for their important contributions to the STROBE-X technical concept. We thank Lorenzo Amati and Giulia Stratta for useful discussions.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)2017-14-H.0
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)ESP2017-82674-R
Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-1801792
European Research Council (ERC)639217
Series Name:Astro2020 Science White Paper
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190917-110443914
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98675
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Sep 2019 18:14
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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