X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM)

JAXA/NASA collaborative mission, with ESA participation

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XRISM, the successor of the Hitomi observatory, will bring high-resolution X-ray spectra of the hot plasma in many astrophysical sources, revealing their composition and evolution. How do galaxies and clusters of galaxies sustain against gravity? What is the chemical makeup of matter in the Universe? What is powering supermassive black holes and how do they exchange energy with surroundings? XRISM will investigate these and many other questions in astrophysics.

Key instrument:
Resolve - a soft X-ray spectrometer, consists of a mirror assembly and a microcalorimeter. The energy resolution is 5-7 eV (a factor of ~ 20 improvement) in the 0.3-12 keV bandpass with a field of view of about 3 arcmin. 

Scheduled launch:
Early 2022 on a JAXA H-2A rocket

Involvement:
I am a NASA participating scientist for the mission and a leader of the diffuse extragalactic science team. Our primary interests within the team are the physics of galaxies, galaxy clusters, and WHIM.

Mobirise

High-resolution X-ray spectrum from the core of the Perseus cluster observed with Hitomi (black). XRISM will observe many objects with similar spectral resolution. For comparison, the red line shows the spectrum from current X-ray telescopes. XRISM will resolve individual spectral lines, allowing precise measurements of gas dynamics and chemical composition. Credit: Hitomi collaboration, Nature, 535, 117, 2016

Mobirise

XRISM collaboration during the first science team meeting. Credit: XRISM collaboration.

Mobirise

XRISM will enable fine diagnostics of hot plasma in galaxies, galaxy clusters, and other astrophysical objects thanks to the superb spectral resolution. The image shows predictions for the resonant scattering effect. It will be possible to detect the suppression of line fluxes due to resonant scattering and use this suppression as an independent probe for gas dynamics with exposures as low as 100 ks. Credit: Zhuravelva et al., MNRAS, 435, 3111, 2013. XRISM will also be able to probe the physics of charge exchange, detect deviations from the ionization equilibrium as well as to measure electron and ion temperatures independently.