THEZA: TeraHertz Exploration and Zooming-in for Astrophysics
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

This paper presents the ESA Voyage 2050 White Paper for a concept of TeraHertz Exploration and Zooming-in for Astrophysics (THEZA). It addresses the science case and some implementation issues of a space-borne radio interferometric system for ultra-sharp imaging of celestial radio sources at the level of angular resolution down to (sub-) microarcseconds. THEZA focuses at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths (frequencies above similar to 300 GHz), but allows for science operations at longer wavelengths too. The THEZA concept science rationale is focused on the physics of spacetime in the vicinity of supermassive black holes as the leading science driver. The main aim of the concept is to facilitate a major leap by providing researchers with orders of magnitude improvements in the resolution and dynamic range in direct imaging studies of the most exotic objects in the Universe, black holes. The concept will open up a sizeable range of hitherto unreachable parameters of observational astrophysics. It unifies two major lines of development of space-borne radio astronomy of the past decades: Space VLBI (Very Long Base-line Interferometry) and mm- and sub-mm astrophysical studies with "single dish" instruments. It also builds upon the recent success of the Earth-based Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) - the first-ever direct image of a shadow of the super-massive black hole in the centre of the galaxy M87. As an amalgam of these three major areas of modern observational astrophysics, THEZA aims at facilitating a breakthrough in high-resolution high image quality studies in the millimetre and sub-millimetre domain of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Spaceborne astrophysics

Super-massive black hole

Radio interferometry

mm- and sub-mm astronomy


Leonid I. Gurvits

TU Delft

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Zsolt Paragi

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Viviana Casasola

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

John Conway

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

Jordy Davelaar

Radboud Universiteit

Heino Falcke

Radboud Universiteit

Rob Fender

University of Oxford

S. Frey

Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia

Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)

Christian M. Fromm

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main

Cristina Garcia Miro

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Michael A. Garrett

University of Manchester

Universiteit Leiden

Marcello Giroletti

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Ciriaco Goddi

Radboud Universiteit

Jose-Luis Gomez

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Jeffrey van der Gucht

Radboud Universiteit

Jose Carlos Guirado

Universitat de Valencia

Zoltan Haiman

Columbia University

Frank Helmich

Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON)

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Elizabeth Humphreys

European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Violette Impellizzeri

Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA)

Michael Kramer


Michael Lindqvist

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium, Observationssupport

Hendrik Linz


Elisabetta Liuzzo

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Andrei P. Lobanov


Yosuke Mizuno

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main

Luciano Rezzolla

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main

Freek Roelofs

Radboud Universiteit

Eduardo Ros


Kazi L. J. Rygl

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Tuomas Savolainen



Karl Schuster

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Tiziana Venturi

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Martina C. Wiedner

Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres

J. Anton Zensus


Experimental Astronomy

0922-6435 (ISSN) 1572-9508 (eISSN)

Vol. In Press


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi





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