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  • An artistic view of Athena space observatory. Credits: ESA/IRAP/CNRS/UT3/CNES/Fab&Fab. Composition: ACO
  • M82 Athena/WFI SIXTE (Simulation of X-ray Telescopes) simulation of starburst galaxy M82. Credits: T. Dauser (SIXTE Team) & ACO.

The Hot and Energetic Universe

ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics) is an X-ray mission selected by ESA within its Cosmic Vision Program to address the Hot and Energetic Universe scientific theme. The outstanding capabilities of Athena as an observatory are expected to make a profound impact in essentially all fields of Astrophysics, from understanding the structure and energetics of stellar winds to probing the physics of the enrichment and heating of our Galaxy's Interstellar Medium by supernova explosions.


An ESA mission to exceed current X-ray observatories

The Athena mission will be the next generation large X-ray observatory offering spatially-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and deep wide-field X-ray spectral imaging with performance greatly exceeding that offered by current X-ray observatories. It was selected in 2014 by ESA to become the second L-class mission of its Cosmic Vision programme.

Image of Athena (Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics). Credits: ESA.

ICE-CSIC's participation

Our institute hosts a member of the Athena Science Study Team, the scientific steering committee appointed by ESA. About 10 scientists of our institute are listed as contributors to the Athena Topical Panels.


Senior institute members involved

Meet the senior researcher who leads our participation in the ATHENA mission.

  • Nanda Rea

    Nanda Rea