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Meet IXO scientists at Explore@NASA Goddard on Saturday, May 14, 11am – 5pm rain or shine.


Read an update on IXO from Nick White and Jay Bookbinder »


Presentations for the IXO Science Team Meeting, held on March 14–16, 2011 in Rome, are available for download


A new schedule for Cosmic Vision selections was announced at the IXO Science Meeting in Rome


Read about IXO on the BBC's Science and Technology blog page »


IXO Science Team Meeting, March 14—16, 2011, Rome, Italy »


217th AAS meeting

Mike Garcia´s talk "IXO Absolute Astrometry Requirements" is available for download.


IXO will take part in the AAS # 217 meeting held on January 9—13, 2011 in Seattle, WA. Please come by to see us at our booth # 218.


New IXO response matrices are available for download »


The IXO team will make an initial presentation on October 6th to the ESA Cosmic Vision review


Astro2010 Update

The Decadal report recommends IXO as one of three defined flight missions. Read more »


Randall Smith gave a talk on "The Potential of Future X-ray Missions" at the Accretion Processes Workshop

More news »


The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) – a joint effort of NASA, ESA, and JAXA – combines a large X-ray mirror with powerful new instrumentation that will explore the high energy Universe. The launch date is contingent on ESA, JAXA, NASA funding approval.

Peering through dust and obscuring clouds of gas, IXO will discover and map supermassive black holes at very early times when the Universe was still assembling galaxies. These images and spectra will uncover the history and evolution of matter and energy, visible and dark, as well as their interplay during the formation of the largest structures. IXO observations of neutron stars will show how matter reforms under crushing pressures well beyond any laboratory, while studies of spinning black holes will reveal how these objects form and grow. IXO will explore both when and how elements were created, how they dispersed into the intergalactic medium, and much more.

Read more about IXO science

To achieve these science goals, IXO will feature a single large X-ray mirror with a 3 square meter collecting area and 5 arcsec angular resolution, and a suite of instrumentation, including a wide field imaging detector, a hard X-ray imaging detector, a high-spectral-resolution imaging spectrometer (calorimeter), a grating spectrometer, a high timing resolution spectrometer, and a polarimeter.

Read more about IXO technology drivers

This will provide up to 100-fold increase in effective area for high resolution spectroscopy from 0.3–10 keV, deep spectral imaging from 0.3–40 keV over a wide field of view, microsecond spectroscopic timing with high count rate capability, and high sensitivity, imaging polarimetry.

Read more about IXO Science performance requirements

IXO is the result of the merging of NASA´s Constellation-X and ESA/JAXA´s XEUS mission concepts.

Before IXO: Con-X and XEUS

IXO is designed to operate for a minimum of five years, with a goal of 10 years, so IXO science operations are anticipated to last from 2021 to 2030.

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IXO Flyby

Artist´s conception of the IXO spacecraft. Credit: NASA
More IXO images »


IXO Astro2010 Decadal submissions available here.

Recent Technology Milestones

The XPOL team is continuing to investigate how different gas mixtures impact on the sensitivity of the X-ray polarimeter on-board of IXO. Read more »


Spectrum of monochromatic photons at 2.6, 5.2 and 7.8 keV. The energy resolution is 32.1% at 2.6 keV, 24.5% at 5.2 keV and 23.5% at 7.8 keV (Muleri et al., 2010). Read more »

Recent Publications

International X-ray Observatory (IXO) Assessment Study Report for the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015—2025,
X. Barcons et al.
More publications »