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eROSITA: a global view of the hot Universe

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The emergence of the three-dimensional structure of the cosmic web displays distinctive features when observed in X-rays, where both the most massive collapsed structure (clusters of galaxies) and the most energetic events in the life of galaxies (AGN and Quasars) reveal themselves unambiguously. The next generation of wide-area, sensitive X-ray surveys designed to map the hot and energetic Universe will be heralded by eROSITA (extended ROentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array), the core instrument on the Russian Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) mission, currently scheduled for launch in 2016. eROSITA will perform a deep survey of the entire X-ray sky, and will be about 30 times more sensitive than ROSAT in the soft energy band (0.5-2 keV), while in the hard band (2-8 keV) it will provide the first ever true imaging survey of the full sky. The design driving science is the detection of large samples of galaxy clusters to redshifts z~1, in order to test cosmological models including Dark Energy. In addition, eROSITA is expected to yield a sample of around 3 million active galactic nuclei, which is bound to revolutionize our view of the evolution of supermassive black holes and their impact on the process of structures and galaxy formation. The survey will also provide new insights into a wide range of astrophysical phenomena, including isolated neutron stars, X-ray binaries, active stars and diffuse emission from the hot plasma within the Galaxy, as well as more exotic ones such as gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption of stars in galactic nuclei and binary black holes. In this talk I will review the current mission status, discuss the major scientific goals of the project, and outline synergies with multi-wavelength wide area surveys, in particular current and future dedicated spectroscopic follow-up programs such as SDSS -IV/SPIDERS and the ESO /4MOST AGN and Clusters surveys.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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