Institute of Astronomy

eROSITA: a global view of the hot Universe

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Andrea Merloni, MPE Garching12 February 2015Institute of Astronomy Colloquia


The emergence of the three-dimensional structure of the cosmic web
displays distinctive features when observed in X-rays, where both the
most massive collapsed structure (clusters of galaxies) and the most
energetic events in the life of galaxies (AGN and Quasars) reveal
themselves unambiguously.
The next generation of wide-area, sensitive X-ray surveys designed to
map the hot and energetic Universe will be heralded by eROSITA (extended
ROentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array), the core instrument on
the Russian Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) mission, currently scheduled
for launch in 2016. eROSITA will perform a deep survey of the entire
X-ray sky, and will be about 30 times more sensitive than ROSAT in the
soft energy band (0.5-2 keV), while in the hard band (2-8 keV) it will
provide the first ever true imaging survey of the full sky.
The design driving science is the detection of large samples of galaxy
clusters to redshifts z~1, in order to test cosmological models
including Dark Energy. In addition, eROSITA is expected to yield a
sample of around 3 million active galactic nuclei, which is bound to
revolutionize our view of the evolution of supermassive black holes and
their impact on the process of structures and galaxy formation. The
survey will also provide new insights into a wide range of astrophysical
phenomena, including isolated neutron stars, X-ray binaries, active
stars and diffuse emission from the hot plasma within the Galaxy, as
well as more exotic ones such as gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption of
stars in galactic nuclei and binary black holes.
In this talk I will review the current mission status, discuss the major
scientific goals of the project, and outline synergies with
multi-wavelength wide area surveys, in particular current and future
dedicated spectroscopic follow-up programs such as SDSS-IV/SPIDERS and
the ESO/4MOST AGN and Clusters surveys.


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