While X-ray spectroscopy, timing, and imaging have improved much since 1962 when the first astronomical nonsolar source was discovered, especially wi the launch of the Newton/X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, Rossi/X-ray Timing Explorer, and Chandra/Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, the progress of X-ray polarimetry has been meager. This is in part due to the lack of sensitive polarization detectors, which in turn is a result of the fate of approved missions and because celestial X-ray sources appear less polarized than expected. Only one positive measurement has been available until now: the Orbiting Solar Observatory measured the polarization of the Crab Nebula in the 1970s. The advent of microelectronics techniques has allowed for designing a detector based on the photoelectric effect of gas in an energy range where the optics are efficient at focusing in X-rays. Here we describe the instrument, which is the major contribution of the Italian collaboration to the Small Explorer mission called IXPE, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, which will launch in late 2021. The instrument is composed of three detector units based on this technique and a detector service unit. Three mirror modules provided by Marshall Space Flight Center focus X-rays onto the detectors. We show the technological choices, their scientific motivation, and results from the calibration of the instrument. IXPE will perform imaging, timing, and energy-resolved polarimetry in the 2-8 keV energy band opening this window of X-ray astronomy to tens of celestial sources of almost all classes.

The Instrument of the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer / Soffitta, P.; Baldini, L.; Bellazzini, R.; Costa, E.; Latronico, L.; Muleri, F.; Del Monte, E.; Fabiani, S.; Minuti, M.; Pinchera, M.; Sgro', C.; Spandre, G.; Trois, A.; Amici, F.; Andersson, H.; Attina', P.; Bachetti, M.; Barbanera, M.; Borotto, F.; Brez, A.; Brienza, D.; Caporale, C.; Cardelli, C.; Carpentiero, R.; Castellano, S.; Castronuovo, M.; Cavalli, L.; Cavazzuti, E.; Ceccanti, M.; Centrone, M.; Ciprini, S.; Citraro, S.; D'Amico, F.; D'Alba, E.; Di Cosimo, S.; Di Lalla, N.; Di Marco, A.; Di Persio, G.; Donnarumma, I.; Evangelista, Y.; Ferrazzoli, R.; Hayato, A.; Kitaguchi, T.; La Monaca, F.; Lefevre, C.; Loffredo, P.; Lorenzi, P.; Lucchesi, L.; Magazzu, C.; Maldera, S.; Manfreda, A.; Mangraviti, E.; Marengo, M.; Matt, G.; Mereu, P.; Morbidini, A.; Mosti, F.; Nakano, T.; Nasimi, H.; Negri, B.; Nenonen, S.; Nuti, A.; Orsini, L.; Perri, M.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piazzolla, R.; Pilia, M.; Profeti, A.; Puccetti, S.; Rankin, J.; Ratheesh, A.; Rubini, A.; Santoli, F.; Sarra, P.; Scalise, E.; Sciortino, A.; Tamagawa, T.; Tardiola, M.; Tobia, A.; Vimercati, M.; Xie, F.. - In: THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL. - ISSN 0004-6256. - 162:5(2021), p. 208. [10.3847/1538-3881/ac19b0]

The Instrument of the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer

Ferrazzoli R.;Rankin J.;Ratheesh A.;
2021

Abstract

While X-ray spectroscopy, timing, and imaging have improved much since 1962 when the first astronomical nonsolar source was discovered, especially wi the launch of the Newton/X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, Rossi/X-ray Timing Explorer, and Chandra/Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, the progress of X-ray polarimetry has been meager. This is in part due to the lack of sensitive polarization detectors, which in turn is a result of the fate of approved missions and because celestial X-ray sources appear less polarized than expected. Only one positive measurement has been available until now: the Orbiting Solar Observatory measured the polarization of the Crab Nebula in the 1970s. The advent of microelectronics techniques has allowed for designing a detector based on the photoelectric effect of gas in an energy range where the optics are efficient at focusing in X-rays. Here we describe the instrument, which is the major contribution of the Italian collaboration to the Small Explorer mission called IXPE, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, which will launch in late 2021. The instrument is composed of three detector units based on this technique and a detector service unit. Three mirror modules provided by Marshall Space Flight Center focus X-rays onto the detectors. We show the technological choices, their scientific motivation, and results from the calibration of the instrument. IXPE will perform imaging, timing, and energy-resolved polarimetry in the 2-8 keV energy band opening this window of X-ray astronomy to tens of celestial sources of almost all classes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1586619
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