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The Voyage of Metals in the Universe from Cosmological to Planetary Scales: the need for a Very High-Resolution, High Throughput Soft X-ray Spectrometer

Nicastro, F. and Kaastra, J. and Argiroffi, C. and Behar, E. and Bianchi, S. and Bocchino, F. and Borgani, S. and Branduardi-Raymont, G. and Bregman, J. and Churazov, E. and Diaz-Trigo, M. and Done, C. and Drake, J. and Fang, T. and Grosso, N. and Luminari, A. and Mehdipour, M. and Paerels, F. and Piconcelli, E. and Pinto, C. and Porquet, D. and Reeves, J. and Schaye, J. and Sciortino, S. and Smith, R. and Spiga, D. and Tomaru, R. and Tombesi, F. and Wijers, N. and Zappacosta, L. (2021) 'The Voyage of Metals in the Universe from Cosmological to Planetary Scales: the need for a Very High-Resolution, High Throughput Soft X-ray Spectrometer.', Experimental astronomy. .


Metals form an essential part of the Universe at all scales. Without metals we would not exist, and the Universe would look completely different. Metals are primarily produced via nuclear processes in stars, and spread out through winds or explosions, which pollute the surrounding space. The wanderings of metals in-and-out of astronomical objects are crucial in determining their own evolution and thus that of the Universe as a whole. Detecting metals and assessing their relative and absolute abundances and energetics can thus be used to trace the evolution of these cosmic components. The scope of this paper is to highlight the most important open astrophysical problems that will be central in the next decades and for which a deep understanding of the Universe’s wandering metals, their physical and kinematical states, and their chemical composition represents the only viable solution. The majority of these studies can only be efficiently performed through High Resolution Spectroscopy in the soft X-ray band.

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Date accepted:09 February 2021
Date deposited:15 April 2021
Date of first online publication:16 March 2021
Date first made open access:15 April 2021

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