In order to further our understanding of the nature of neutron stars and black holes by studying their variable X-ray emission, Colibrì needs to be very sensitive and fast. For this reason, we set some goals for the concept of  Colibrì. If you would like detailed resources to simulate observations with Colibrì, please go to our resources page.

Initial baseline mission concept parameters:

  • Energy range: 0.5 -10 keV including the iron K-alpha emission line at 6.4 keV.

Accreting neutron stars and black holes shine bright in the 0.5-10 keV range. Moreover, the reflected emission used in reverberation mapping presents a strong feature at 6.4 keV: the iron fluorescence line.

  • Energy resolution: finer than 1 eV at 2 keV (3 eV at 6 keV) with count rates up to 10 kHz.

We want to be able to determine the energy of the incoming photons with a precision better than one in a thousand.

  • Timing capabilities: better than 1 μs.

We want to probe the region very close to the black hole or neutron stars and the dynamical  timescales of that region are of the order of microseconds.

  • Throughput: count rates up to 100 kHz.

We want to be able to look at bright sources, with a high photon count rate.

  • Type of optics: collector optics as for NICER, total effective area of at least 2000 cm2 at 6.4 keV.

Colibrì will not have just one mirror, but many different collectors similar to the ones employed by the NASA mission NICER. We need many collectors, each pointing on different arrays, to be able to look at bright sources without overwhelming the detectors with the incoming photons.

Image credit banner: NASA/SOFIA/Lynette Cook