A deep study of the high–energy transient sky

C. Guidorzi, F. Frontera, G. Ghirlanda, G. Stratta, C. G. Mundell, E. Virgilli, P. Rosati, E. Caroli, L. Amati, E. Pian, S. Kobayashi, G. Ghisellini, C. Fryer, M. Della Valle, R. Margutti, M. Marongiu, R. Martone, R. Campana, F. Fuschino, C. LabantiM. Orlandini, J. B. Stephen, S. Brandt, R. Curado da Silva, P. Laurent, R. Mochkovitch, E. Bozzo, R. Ciolfi, L. Burderi, T. Di Salvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


The coming decades will establish the exploration of the gravitational wave (GW) Universe over a broad frequency range by ground and space interferometers. Meanwhile, wide-field, high-cadence and sensitive surveys will span the electromagnetic spectrum from radio all the way up to TeV, as well as the high-energy neutrino window. Among the numerous classes of transients, γ–ray bursts (GRBs) have direct links with most of the hot topics that will be addressed, such as the strong gravity regime, relativistic shocks, particle acceleration processes, equation of state of matter at nuclear density, and nucleosynthesis of heavy elements, just to mention a few. Other recently discovered classes of transients that are observed throughout cosmological distances include fast radio bursts (FRBs), fast blue optical transients (FBOTs), and other unidentified high-energy transients. Here we discuss how these topics can be addressed by a mission called ASTENA (Advanced Surveyor of Transient Events and Nuclear Astrophysics, see Frontera et al. 18). Its payload combines two instruments: (i) an array of wide-field monitors with imaging, spectroscopic, and polarimetric capabilities (WFM-IS); (ii) a narrow field telescope (NFT) based on a Laue lens operating in the 50–600 keV range with unprecedented angular resolution, polarimetric capabilities, and sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1223
Number of pages21
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Issue number3
Early online date23 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The ASTENA mission concept is the result of several development activities. We wish to acknowledge the support by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and that by the AHEAD European program.

Funding Information:
Open access funding provided by Università degli Studi di Ferrara within the CRUI-CARE Agreement.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • ESA voyage 2050
  • High-energy transient sky
  • Multi-messenger astrophysics
  • Space mission concept
  • X–/γ–ray polarimetry
  • X–/γ–ray telescopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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