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X-ray Astronomy

X-ray astronomy deals with the most extreme phenomena in the universe. At ECAP and Remeis-Observatory, our research is mainly devoted to studying the process of accretion onto neutron stars and black holes, both in our own Galaxy and in the centers of other galaxies. More specifically, we study the phenomena related to the strongest magnetic fields in the universe in the accretion columns of neutron stars, and we study the properties of black holes by observing the X-rays produced in their vicinity, as well as the radiation from their jets as seen throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. We are also interested in the interaction of this radiation with the surroundings of the black hole or neutron star (e.g., in stellar winds), and with the interaction of the X-rays with the interstellar medium.

X-ray astronomical observations require us to use satellite data, since X-rays are absorbed in the Earth’s atmosphere. We have expertise in analyzing data from all current mission. Our group is also involved in the preparation for the eROSITA experiment on the Spectrum-X-Gamma satellite, which will launch in 2019, as well as with the preparation of the WFI and X-IFU instruments on ESA’s next flagship X-ray mission, Athena, which will launch in the early 2030s. Our group has also been involved in a large number of feasibility studies for satellite missions, including Simbol-X, LOFT, MIRAX, or ARCUS. For both, data analysis and the simulation of observations with future missions, we have developed a number of software packages which are available on these pages.