The ESO-Athena Synergy White Paper

Published: 09 Jun 2017
ESA Athena

The Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics (Athena) is the X-ray observatory mission selected by ESA within its Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 programme to address the Hot and Energetic Universe scientific theme. The ESO-Athena Synergy Team has been tasked to single out the potential scientific synergies between Athena and optical/near-infrared (NIR) and sub/mm ground-based facilities, in particular those of ESO (i.e., the VLT and ELT, ALMA and APEX).

The result of this work is the ESO-Athena Synergy White Paper, which deals with the following topics:

  1. the Hot Universe: Early groups and clusters and their evolution, Physics of the Intracluster medium, Missing baryons in cosmic filaments;
  2. the Energetic Universe: Supermassive black hole (SMBH) history, SMBH accretion disks, Active Galactic Nuclei feedback – Molecular outflows, Ultra-fast outflows, Accretion Physics, Transient Science;
  3. Observatory Science: Star Formation, Stars.

The White Paper then discusses the optical-NIR-submm perspective by providing details on MOONS, ELT instruments, in particular the Multi Object Spectrograph (MOSAIC), 4MOST, the ESO Science Archive Facility and the ALMA archive, future ALMA and ESO developments, and finally the (likely) ESO - Athena astronomical scene in the 2020s. The White Paper is available (Padovani et al., 2017).

Image credit: Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) and Athena Team.