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Astro-H/SXS Mission

Matter in Extreme Environments

Accretion Disks around Black Holes, Large and Small(er)

Supermassive black holes (SMBH) have had a major influence on the formation of all structure in the Universe, likely via winds or relativistic jets although the forces driving these winds & jets are obscure. Observations show that X-rays from SMBH frequently change their absorption and emission features in the 5-10 keV band, which may represent gas moving at very high velocities with both red and blue shifts.

Variable observation lines from an AGN

The source shown here on the left contains two slowly varying sinsusoidal absorption features and an Fe K line that becomes increasingly strong and broad. The SXS (middle panel) will measure velocity structures of 100 km/s on the 10 ksec orbital timescale of a 30 million solar-mass super-massive black hole, which cannot be seen with CCDs (right panel).

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This file was last modified on Friday, 12-Mar-2010 10:37:16 EST

Science Mission Directorate Universe Division |
Beyond Einstein | Origins

A service of the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC

Astro-H/SXS Project Scientist: Dr. Robert Petre
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman

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