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Fast Facts

Performance Requirements

Parameter Requirement Science Drivers Instruments
Mirror Effective
3 m2 @1.25 keV
0.65 m2 @ 6 keV
0.015 m2 @ 30 keV
Black Hole Evolution
Strong gravity
Strong gravity
Spectral Resolution
(FWHM), FOV, bandpass
ΔE = 2.5 eV,  2 arcmin,  0.3 – 7 keV
ΔE = 10 eV,  5 arcmin,   0.3 – 7 keV
ΔE =150 eV, 18 arcmin,  0.1– 15 keV
E/ΔE = 3000, point src,  0.3 – 1 keV
Galaxy Cluster Evolution
Cosmic Feedback
Black Hole Evolution
Cosmic Web
Angular Resolution 5 arcsec HPD,   0.3 – 7 keV
5 arcsec HPD,   0.3 – 7 keV
30 arcsec HPD,  7.0 – 40 keV
Cosmic feedback,
Black Hole Evolution
Strong Gravity
Count Rate 106 cps with < 10% deadtime Neutron Star
Equation of State
Polarimetry 1% MDP, 100 ksec, 5×10-12
cgs (2–6 keV)
Strong Gravity XPOL


Science Themes

Read more about IXO Science »


Effective Area Plot & Resolution Plot

Effective Area Plot

Plot of the effective area of the IXO mirror and focal plane instruments compared to those of current X-ray observatories, showing the large improvement at all energies. Credit: NASA/GSFC. Click the image for a larger view


Plot of the spectral resolution of the IXO calorimeter and grating (lower limit) compared to current X-ray observatories. The bottom panel shows the emission lines of the various elements in the energy range 0.1-3.0 keV (color) and their sum (black). Credit: NASA/GSFC. Click the image for a larger view



Mission Overview

  • IXO will orbit 800,000 km around the L2 libration point
  • The IXO satellite will launch on either an Atlas V or Ariane 5 rocket
  • The IXO focal length will be 20 m
  • IXO has a 5 year lifetime requirement, but will carry a 10-year supply of consumables in anticipation of a longer lifetime
  • IXO is targeted to launch in 2021
IXO Quick Reference Guide  »

Science Payload

Read more about IXO Technology »

IXO Astro2010 Decadal submissions

Available from here  »

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