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Studying the Fast: Transients and Explosions in the X-ray and UV with STAR-X

Presentation #112.08 in the session STAR-X.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Studying the Fast: Transients and Explosions in the X-ray and UV with STAR-X

STAR-X is an X-ray and UV time-domain surveyor with rapid response capability that was selected for a competitive MIDEX Phase A study. STAR-X combines co-aligned X-ray and UV telescopes covering 1 sq. deg. with 5” resolution and can respond to high priority targets of opportunity within 2 hours. This design enables STAR-X to probe the “Fast” universe, including key objectives to quantify supernova shock breakouts, binary neutron star mergers, and flares on planet-hosting stars:

1. STAR-X will capture the initial moments of supernovae (shock breakout), which will constrain the progenitor radius and mass loss history of H-poor, core-collapse SNe.

2. STAR-X will detect neutron star merger counterparts to expose the angular structure of newly-formed relativistic jets and unveil the origin of the early blue-UV emission.

3. STAR-X will trace the cumulative impact of high-energy stellar flares on exoatmospheres by surveying activity and the quiescent X-ray baseline for typical low-mass, magnetically active stars.

STAR-X will also discover and monitor many other types of X-ray and UV transients, including fast X-ray transients, X-ray binary populations, Type Ia SNe, and SMBH-related flares, thereby filling a crucial X-ray and UV gap in time-domain astronomy in the late 2020s.

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