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Lynx X-ray Observatory

  • Stern, Daniel
  • Haiman, Zoltan
  • Vikhlinin, Alexey
  • Osten, Rachel
  • Bautz, Mark
  • Kollmeier, Juna
  • Lopez, Laura
  • Hickox, Ryan
  • Gaskin, Jessica A.
  • Quataert, Eliot
  • Reynolds, Christopher
  • Madau, Piero
  • Pooley, David
  • Paerels, Frits
  • Bregman, Joel
  • Ozel, Feryal
  • Kravtsov, Andrey
  • Ptak, Andrew
  • Allen, Steven
  • Brandt, W. Niel
  • And 2 more
Publication Date
Aug 23, 2019


X-ray observations are indispensable for understanding the cosmos. Their power is immense because much of the baryonic matter and the sites for the most active energy releases in the Universe are primarily observable in X-rays. For the 2030s and beyond, an X-ray observatory with power matching the capabilities in other wavebands is a necessary discovery engine for full exploration of the Universe. JWST and other upcoming major space- and ground-based facilities are expected to greatly expand science frontiers in the coming decades. is presents both a great opportunity and a challenge for a next-generation X-ray observatory. In many areas, such as tracing black holes during the CosmicDawn and understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies, an X-ray observatory is the logical next step. e challenge is that the X-ray science at these new frontiers requires expansion of capabilities by orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art or anything already planned. Until recently, such gains were not technologically possible. is has changed thanks to recent breakthroughs and sustained maturation of key technologies for X-ray mirrors and detectors. We are reaping the fruits of U.S. investments in these areas over the past 1015 years. An X-ray observatory that can extend the science frontiers of the post-JWST era is now entirely feasible. Lynx is the mission concept that realizes this vision. It will y revolutionary optics and instrumentation onboard a simple, proven spacecraft. In all aspects, Lynx will be a next-generation Great Observatory that is certain to make a profound impact across the astrophysical landscape. It will provide the depth and breadth to answer the fundamental questions that confront us today; just as importantly, it will have capabilities to address questions we have yet to even ask.

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