1. High-resolution spectroscopy of low energy x-rays from diffuse hot plasmas in the intergalactic medium (IGM), interstellar medium (ISM), and heliosphere
- To find the current locations and properties of the baryons (normal matter) that were created in the early universe
- To understand the role of hot material in the life cycles of galaxies and stars
2. Support of NASA Themes
Structure and Evolution of the Universe
How did structure in the Universe form?
What are the cycles of matter and energy in the evolving Universe?
Astronomical Search for Origins
How does the chemical enrichment of the IGM & galaxies take place?
What is the role of the hot ISM in the life cycle of stars?
Exploration of the heliosphere - how do the Sun and the Galaxy interact?
3. Science Questions to Answer - Filling in the Knowledge Gaps
- Is our understanding of structure formation in the universe correct?
- Are the missing baryons in the warm/hot intergalactic medium?
- What is the nature of the galactic winds that enrich the intergalactic medium with heavy elements?
- Does the bulge of our galaxy supply the energy to our galactic halo; does it drive a galactic fountain or wind?
What are the temperatures, densities, and elemental abundances
of the hot ISM and other remnants of
energetic galactic events?
Does the heliosphere glow in x-rays from the solar wind interacting
with the incoming local ISM material?