Lynx X-Ray Observatory: an overview

Jessica A. Gaskin, Douglas A. Swartz, Alexey Vikhlinin, Feryal Özel, Karen E. Gelmis, Jonathan W. Arenberg, Simon R. Bandler, Mark W. Bautz, Marta M. Civitani, Alexandra Dominguez, Megan E. Eckart, Abraham D. Falcone, Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, Mark D. Freeman, Hans M. Günther, Keith A. Havey, Ralf K. Heilmann, Kiranmayee Kilaru, Ralph P. Kraft, Kevin S. MccarleyRandall L. Mcentaffer, Giovanni Pareschi, William Purcell, Paul B. Reid, Mark L. Schattenburg, Daniel A. Schwartz, Eric D. Schwartz, Harvey D. Tananbaum, Grant R. Tremblay, William W. Zhang, John A. Zuhone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Lynx, one of the four strategic mission concepts under study for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey, provides leaps in capability over previous and planned X-ray missions and provides synergistic observations in the 2030s to a multitude of space-and ground-based observatories across all wavelengths. Lynx provides orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity, on-axis subarcsecond imaging with arcsecond angular resolution over a large field of view, and high-resolution spectroscopy for point-like and extended sources in the 0.2-to 10-keV range. The Lynx architecture enables a broad range of unique and compelling science to be carried out mainly through a General Observer Program. This program is envisioned to include detecting the very first seed black holes, revealing the high-energy drivers of galaxy formation and evolution, and characterizing the mechanisms that govern stellar evolution and stellar ecosystems. The Lynx optics and science instruments are carefully designed to optimize the science capability and, when combined, form an exciting architecture that utilizes relatively mature technologies for a cost that is compatible with the projected NASA Astrophysics budget.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021001
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Lynx
  • X-ray
  • X-ray surveyor
  • astronomy
  • astrophysics decadal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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