High Energy Astrophysics (observations of X-ray and gamma-rays coming from celestial bodies) plays a key role in understanding the universe. These radiations reveal the processes in the hot and violent Universe. High Energy Astrophysics probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are most massive objects in the Universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies. Finally, high energy radiation provides important information about our own Galaxy. Neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our Sun emit copious amounts of high energy radiation.
Europe plays a leading role in high energy astrophysics research. The XMM-Newton and the Integral missions are leading the exploration of the X-ray and gamma-ray Universe. ESA‘s mission ATHENA to be launched in 2028 will carry the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever be the flagship of all high X-ray missions.
AHEAD is a project funded by the European Commission in the framework of Horizon2020 (Access to large scale facilities). It is led by IAPS/INAF in Rome and involves most Universities and Research institutes which are involved in High Energy Astrophysics in Europe. The project aims to combine the efforts of all these Institutes in the analysis of X-ray data and facilitate the access to infrastructures distributed across Europe. AHEAD has a strong commitment to public outreach. Our goal is to share the exciting scientific discoveries in this research domain with the general public.
More details on the AHEAD project and the work packages can be found here.