An X-ray observatory proposed to ESA in the framework of Cosmic Vision.

The Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics (ATHENA) is a X-ray observatory proposed to ESA in the framework of Cosmic Vision to address the two main astrophysical questions posed in the theme of the hot and energetic Universe:

  • How does ordinary matter assemble into the large-scale structures we see today?
  • How do black holes grow and shape the Universe?

The mission will address scientific objectives as the formation and evolution of groups and clusters of galaxies, the chemical evolution of hot baryons, the formation of black holes and the physics of accretion onto supermassive black holes hosted in active galactic nuclei. 

The launch is foreseen in 2028

X-ray telescopes are able to focus soft protons with grazing incident angles as well as photons. This phenomenon can cause damage and reduction of observation time and need to be carefully considered in the design of the next generation of X-ray missions. 

In this framework, IASF-Palermo is producing a set of mathematical functions and numerical tables to compute the proton reflection efficiency and the scattering angles from theoretical model or from experimental data, as a function of the input energies and directions, and a ray-tracing code that simulates the transmission of grazing incident protons on the focal plane, in order to evaluate their contribution to the background. 

Read more about Athena on our site.
Read more about Athena on the Athena official site.

Contact person
Teresa Mineo

Giancarlo Cusumano
Antonino D’Aì
Melania Del Santo
Valentina La Parola
Teresa Mineo
Ciro Pinto