Neutron Stars at X-ray Wavelengths: NASA's Constellation-X Mission

Divas Sanwal



Among the most important topics in Neutron Star (NS) astrophysics is the equation of state of the matter in their interiors. Observations in X-rays wavelengths with the improved sensitivity and spectral resolution provided by Chandra and XMM-Newton have greatly enhanced our understanding of NSs. We have discovered long sought spectral lines from NSs, increased the number of NSs detected in X-rays and started to perform phase-resolved spectroscopy of NS to map the surface and differentiate among the different emission components. The Constellation-X observatory is being developed to perform spatially resolved high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy. This talk focuses on the driving science behind this mission, which is one of two flagship missions in NASA's Beyond Einstein program. A general overview of the observatory's capabilities and basic technology will also be given. Constellation-X would provide an opportunity to study Neutron Star with high sensitivity and spectral resolution. I will also present the projections into the impact on Neutron Star astrophysics with the Constellation-X observatory.


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