University of Leicester
SWIFT 10_006.pdf (670.65 kB)

Einstein Probe - A small mission to monitor and explore the dynamic X-ray Universe

Download (670.65 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2017-06-27, 12:58 authored by W. Yuan, C. Zhang, H. Feng, S. N. Zhang, Z. X. Ling, D. Zhao, J. Deng, Y. Qiu, Julian P. Osborne, P. O'Brien, R. Willingale, J. Lapington, G. W. Fraser
Einstein Probe is a small mission dedicated to time-domain high-energy astrophysics. Its primary goals are to discover high-energy transients and to monitor variable objects in the 0.5-4 keV Xrays, at higher sensitivity by one order of magnitude than those of the ones currently in orbit. Its wide-field imaging capability, featuring a large instantaneous field-of-view (60°× 60°, ∼ 1:1 sr), is achieved by using established technology of micro-pore (MPO) lobster-eye optics, thereby offering unprecedentedly high sensitivity and large Grasp (effective area times field-of-view). To complement this powerful monitoring ability, it also carries a narrow-field, sensitive followup X-ray telescope based on the same MPO technology to perform follow-up observations of newly-discovered transients. Public transient alerts will be downlinked rapidly, so as to trigger multi-wavelength follow-up observations from the world-wide community. Over three of its 97- minute orbits almost the entire night sky will be sampled, with cadences ranging from 5 to 25 times per day. The scientific objectives of the mission are: to discover otherwise quiescent black holes over all astrophysical mass scales by detecting their rare X-ray transient flares, particularly tidal disruption of stars by massive black holes at galactic centers; to detect and precisely locate the electromagnetic sources of gravitational-wave transients; to carry out systematic surveys of Xray transients and characterise the variability of X-ray sources, such as high-redshift gamma-ray bursts, supernova shock breakouts, X-ray binaries of compact objects, gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei and stellar coronal flares, etc. Einstein Probe has been selected as a candidate mission of priority (no further selection needed) in the Space Science Programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, aiming for launch around 2020.



Proceedings of science, 2014, (SWIFT 10) 006

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


SWIFT 10 (Swift: 10 Years of Discovery), 2-5 December 2014, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Proceedings of science


proceedings of science



Copyright date


Available date


Publisher version

Temporal coverage: start date


Temporal coverage: end date




Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications