The Constellation-X Observatory

Nicholas White, NASA GSFC

The Constellation-X Observatory is currently planned as NASA's next major X-ray observatory. The driving science goals include: 1) Trace the evolution of Black Holes with cosmic time and determine their contribution to the energy output of the Universe; 2) Observe matter spiraling into Black Holes to test the predictions of General Relativity; 3) Use galaxy clusters to trace the locations of Dark Matter and follow the formation of structure as a function of distance; 4) Search for the missing baryonic matter; 5) Directly observe the dynamics of Cosmic Feedback to test models for galaxy formation and evolution; 6) Observe the creation and dispersion of metals in supernovae; and 7) Precisely constrain the equation of state of neutron stars. To achieve these science goals requires high resolution (R > 1250) X-ray spectroscopy with 10-100 times the effective area of Chandra and XMM-Newton. The current implementation approach will be discussed, along with the prospects for realizing the mission as a joint international effort.