X-ray Astronomy: towards the next 50 years!
In its first 50 years, X-ray astronomy has provided a new vision of the universe, with unsuspected high-energy activities at all scales. In our Galaxy, a wide variety of systems, from rapidly rotating Neutron Stars sometimes surrounded by the remnants of the original Supernova explosions, to compact objects accreting matter in binary systems to a Super Massive Black Hole lurking at the Galaxy's centre emit X-ray radiation carrying fundamental information on their nature and origin. On cosmological scales the intergalactic gas in clusters of galaxies shines at X-ray energies allowing to probe the gravitational field binding these systems which are related to original seeds of structure in the Universe. Moreover Supermassive Black Holes at the centers of galaxies, fed by infall of gas, unleash extreme luminosities, so that they can be traced to very large distances, carrying information on the Universe evolution. To make a step forward in our understanding of the physics of the X-ray Universe we need to extend our observing capabilities to fainter fluxes across large portions of sky but also, among others, to spectroscopy on a spectral range as wide as attainable and, possibly, time resolved. The challenge for going "towards the next 50 years" should be at the heart of the meeting.
The conference will allow a discussion on the present knowledge of cosmic X-ray sources in order to envisage the most promising directions for future advances.