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Exploring the dynamic X-ray Universe

Transients and variable objects pervade the sky in the X-ray universe. All-sky monitors (ASM) contributed to new discoveries and/or extensively studies of the X-ray sky since the early days of X-ray astronomy. Time domain astronomy will see its golden era towards the end of this decade with the advent of major facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum and in the multimessenger realms of gravitational wave and neutrino. The Forum’s main aims are related to discus the importance of the scientific use of soft X-ray wide-field monitoring observatories in the Violent Universe domain as well as to discuss the technologies. In the soft X-ray regime, the novel micro-pore lobster-eye optics provides a promising technology to realize, for the first time, focusing X-ray optics for wide-angle monitors to achieve a good combination of sensitivity and wide field of view. In this context – a soft X-ray all sky monitor – has been proposed and selected as one of the candidate missions for advanced studies in the space science program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  

This forum is designed to provide a brainstorming opportunity to discuss the most important science developments in this field towards 2020 and beyond and how to achieve them technologically, by bring together experts of both research (theorists and observers) and instrumentation. Special attention will be given to a soft X-ray all sky monitor mission (Einstein Probe), its key science goals and mission definition, as well as some of the key technological issues.

THE FORUM WILL BE LIVE STREAMED more information here >>

The forum is an international conference focused on the following:

  1. Key science questions and new trends in X-ray time-domain astronomy.
  2. Prospects of detecting in X-rays the counterparts of gravitational wave events found with the next generation of GW detectors.
  3. Definition of the payload on board Einstein Probe, and some of the key technological issues, such as optics, focal plane detectors and other vital sub-systems.
  4. Proposal of an ESA-CAS joint small mission and international collaboration.  

Link to the Einstein Probe mission website >>


The conveners of the Forum are Weimin Yuan (NAOC, CN), Julian Osborne (Leicester Univ., UK), Neil Gehrels (NASA/GSFC, US), George Fraser (Leicester Univ., UK), Shuang-Nan Zhang (IHEP, CN), Maurizio Falanga (ISSI-Beijing, CN)

Participants List >>


Agenda (as of April 08)>>


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