Imagine the Universe!

Future Mission Gets Stellar Name

22 October 1997

The Next Generation X-ray Observatory called the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy (HTXS) mission has been renamed the Constellation Mission. Dedicated to observations with high spectral resolution over the energy range 0.25 - 40 keV, Constellation will provide as much as a factor of 100 increase in sensitivity over currently planned high resolution X-ray spectroscopy missions. Constellation was selected as a new mission to be proposed for a FY2004 new start at the Space Science Enterprise Strategic Planning Workshop held in Breckenridge in May 1997; it can be thought of as the X-ray equivalent of the Keck Telescope and will mark the start of a new era in X-ray spectroscopy.

With its increased capabilities, Constellation will address many fundamental astrophysics questions such as the origin and distribution of the elements from carbon to zinc; the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies; the validity of general relativity in the strong gravity limit; the evolution of supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei; the details of supernova explosions and their aftermath; and the mechanisms involved in the heating of stellar coronae and driving of stellar winds.

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Imagine the Universe! is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
Curator: Meredith Gibb
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
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