Digging Up the Hidden
Modern soft X-ray observatories can yield unique insights into time domain astrophysics, and a huge amount of information is stored - and largely unexploited - in data archives.
The EXTraS project (Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky) will explore the temporal domain information buried in the serendipitous data collected by the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) instrument onboard the ESA XMM-Newton mission in 13 yr of observations.
We will characterize the temporal domain information and release it to the community as a catalog of variable sources spanning more than eight orders of magnitude in time scale and six orders of magnitude in flux.
Our results will become the reference for time domain astrophysics in the soft X-ray band, until a future, dedicated mission is deployed.