Presentation #208.06 in the session The Proposed STAR-X Explorer Mission: Opportunities for the HEAD Community to Explore the Fast, Furious and Forming Universe with Simultaneous UV and X-ray Observations.
The Survey and Time-domain Astrophysical Explorer, or STAR-X, is a proposed MIDEX mission currently in a competitive Phase A study. It comprises an X-ray telescope (XRT) provided by GSFC and MIT, a UV telescope (UVT) provided by the University of Colorado, and a spacecraft (SC) provided by Ball Aerospace. The key features of the XRT are its excellent PSF (2.5 arc-seconds half-power diameter), large effective area (1,800 cm2 at 1 keV), and large field of view (1 deg2), making it more than an order of magnitude more capable and more sensitive than Chandra and Swift/XRT to conduct survey and to find and study transient sources. The UVT has a 30-cm aperture with 5 filters covering the 160nm to 340nm band, providing simultaneous spectral coverage. The SC is highly autonomous and is capable of fast slewing, enabling efficient raster scans and time-domain surveys. In particular, in combination with a state-of-the-art mission operations center at the University of Colorado, the SC can respond to targets of opportunity within 2 hours 90% of the time. With its nearly equatorial low-earth orbit, STAR-X will have low particle background, enabling them to have unprecedented sensitivity for measuring faint diffuse emissions from clusters of galaxies. STAR-X is a timely response to Astro2020’s recommendation for a space-based, sustaining time-domain and multi-messenger program.