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Exploring the Dynamic Ultraviolet Universe with UVEX

Presentation #103.40 in the session Missions and Instruments.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Exploring the Dynamic Ultraviolet Universe with UVEX

The Ultraviolet Explorer (UVEX) is a Medium Class Explorer (MIDEX) mission, currently undergoing a competitive Phase A study, that will explore the Ultraviolet Universe. UVEX is built on three scientific pillars: (1) Exploring the low-mass, low-metallicity galaxy frontier; (II) Providing new views of the dynamic universe, and (III) Leaving a broad legacy of modern, deep synoptic surveys adding to the panchromatic richness of 21st century astrophysics. Exploring the low-mass galaxy frontier is forefront because low-mass galaxies dominate the local (z < 0.3) population, and the processes taking place in their low-metallicity, actively star-forming environments are largely unexplored. UVEX observations will provide crucial templates for understanding the high-redshift population of low-mass, low-metallicity systems discovered by ALMA and JWST. UVEX opens new views on the dynamic universe by discovering and diagnosing the early UV aftermaths of gravitational-wave-discovered neutron star mergers. Through rapid spectroscopy, it will probe the evolutionary history of massive stars in the moments before their demise, and provide a resource for the entire community for target of opportunity UV spectroscopic followup of transients. The UVEX deep, synoptic all-sky surveys will likely be its most important legacy, replacing GALEX with a survey that: is cadenced; includes the Galactic Plane and Magellanic Clouds; provides rapid transient alerts to the community; and achieves depths and resolution matching modern optical/IR surveys with Rubin, Roman and Euclid. I will describe the UVEX science goals and objectives related to the HEAD community and provide an overview of the mission and its implementation.

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