Future Prospects for Soft X-ray Spectroscopy with Arcus
Soft X-ray (0.3 – 2.0 keV) spectroscopy provides useful characterizations of the hot astrophysical plasmas found in a variety of environments: tenuous filaments connecting galaxies and galaxy clusters; the hot halos of galaxies; outflows from supermassive black holes; and accreting young stars. Arcus, a proposed NASA Medium-class Explorer, offers unprecedented line detection sensitivity in this bandpass. This performance is achieved by marrying two critical technologies, silicon pore optics (SPO) and critical-angle transmission (CAT) gratings, in a modular, cost-effective mission architecture.
In this talk, I will detail the Arcus instrument design. In addition, I will explore how Arcus enables new measurements of the hot baryonic material predicted to lie in extended halos around galaxies, and can provide observational constraints for models of large-scale structure formation.