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Einstein Probe

  • Einstein Probe artist impression. Credits: CAS.

The transient high energy sky opens with an incredible sensitivity

The Einstein Probe (EP) is an X-ray astronomical space mission led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) aimed at opening a new view of the transient high energy sky. It is a mission dedicated to time-domain astrophysics and it will discover transients and monitor variable objects in the soft X-ray band with an incredible sensitivity.


Einstein Probe a new follow-up mission of high energy and multi-messenger transient events

The X-ray sky is rich in variable and transient sources, and outburst phenomena. The well-known examples range from stellar flares in the neighbourhood of the Solar system, to variability and outbursts involving neutron stars and black holes in our Galaxy and other galaxies nearby, and to spectacular gamma-ray bursts out to the edge of the universe. Their X-ray radiation may change in brightness from a few to tens to hundred times, and to many orders of magnitudes, and their variability timescales also span many orders of magnitudes, from sub-seconds, to days and to years. The origin and mechanism of these events involve a diversity of energy sources and physical processes, such as magnetic field, thermonuclear reaction, gravitational energy, particle acceleration and plasma physics. Einstein Probe is equipped with two X-ray telescopes, both focusing optics. The Wide-field X-ray Telescope (WXT) is to monitor the sky with on-board triggering capability. The Follow-up X-ray Telescope (FXT) is for quick onboard follow-up characterisation and more precise positioning of detected transients, and for observations of targets of opportunity (ToO) by uplink commands.

Einstein Probe infographic by ESA.

ICE-CSIC's participation

ICE-CSIC is part of the ESA Einstein Probe Science Team, and is Chairing the Science Topical Panel 4 on Compact Objects, and part of the Einstein Probe Science Management Committee. Furthermore, we are part of Science Topical Panels on Fast extra-Galactic Transients and
Multi-messenger events follow-up.

Senior institute members involved

Meet the senior researcher who leads our participation in the Einstein Probe.

  • Nanda Rea

    Nanda Rea