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Astronomy Colloquium - "Line Emission Mapper: A Large-Grasp X-ray Microcalorimeter Probe Concept to Study the Evolution of Galaxies"

Event Type
Seminar/Symposium
Sponsor
Department of Astronomy
Location
Kaler Classroon, Astronomy Building
Date
Sep 20, 2022   3:45 pm  
Speaker
John ZuHone, Center for Astrophysics
Contact
Rebecca Bare
E-Mail
rsbare@illinois.edu
Phone
217-265-8226
Views
23
Originating Calendar
Astronomy Colloquium Speaker Calendar
One of the key drivers of galaxy evolution is the warm (10^{5.5-6.5} K), and diffuse gas residing within the virial radii of galaxies, known as the Circumgalactic Medium (CGM). This gas provides material for star formation and accretion onto the central galactic black hole and recycles ejecta from the galactic inner region. Further afield lies the Intergalactic Medium (IGM), where the matter that escaped from galaxies over time resides. CGM and IGM constitute the majority of the baryonic matter in the present-day Universe, but remain largely unexplored because they are so difficult to observe or even detect. This dramatically limits our understanding of how galaxies grow, which is one of the key scientific challenges identified by the Astro2020 Decadal Survey.
 
In this talk I will introduce Light Element Mapper (LEM), an X-ray Probe concept, which is optimized to explore the soft X-ray emission from CGM and IGM. A microcalorimeter array with a 2 eV spectral resolution and 0.9 eV subarray will remove the veil of the Milky Way foreground, and a large effective area combined with a 32' detector field of view and 15" angular resolution will make observing CGM and IGM possible for statistical samples of galactic halos. LEM will determine the physical properties and kinematic structure of the CGM in individual galaxies out to r500-r200 by mapping the X-ray line emission from OVII, OVIII, and FeXVII, the dominant CGM ionic species. This capability is beyond the reach of any planned missions and is the last frontier for the field of galaxy evolution and large scale structure formation, and directly addresses Astro2020's call to “Map the Circumgalactic Medium and Intergalactic Medium in Emission.” With XMM-like imaging but 50x better spectral resolution, LEM will also open an unprecedented discovery space for a wide range of astrophysical objects for general observation. 
 
Topic: UIUC Astronomy Colloquium
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