Why a Lynx?

 An early  Lynx  mission branding concept from Illustrator  David Miller .

An early Lynx mission branding concept from Illustrator David Miller.

Lynx isn't an acronym. It is a name with a deep connection to the history of Astronomy.  

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was a proud member of Italy's Accademia dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynx), a scientific society devoted to investigations of the natural world. Federico Cesi, who founded the "Lincean Academy" in 1603, named it after the lynx, whose sharp vision evokes the observational prowess on which scientific progress relies. It was in one early meeting of the academy that the term "telescope" was first coined. The Lincean Academy exists to this day as the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, effectively serving as Italy's National Academy of Science.  

 Galileo Galilei was a member of Italy's  Accademia dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynx) .

Galileo Galilei was a member of Italy's Accademia dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynx).

The lynx is a feline with keen eyesight and, in many cultures and traditions, is a symbol of great insight and the supernatural ability to see through to the true nature of things.

Illustration from Urania's Mirror, a set of star charts engraved by Sydney Hall and published in 1824. Lynx was a constellation proposed in 1687 by Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius, and consisted of 19 stars spanning the gulf between Ursa Major and Auriga. Hevelius named the constellation after a Lynx because it was so faint, and stated that only the "lynx-eyed" would be able to find it. 

Our mission concept was originally dubbed the "X-ray Surveyor", but our team felt that Lynx was a perfect name to evoke the major scientific themes of our mission, all of which relate to the "unseen" or the "invisbile".

That the name ended with an "X" didn't hurt, either.  

 Our mission's logo is evocative of rays of light, grazing incidence mirror shell segments, and, of course, X-rays. You can learn more about  Lynx  mission branding  here . 

Our mission's logo is evocative of rays of light, grazing incidence mirror shell segments, and, of course, X-rays. You can learn more about Lynx mission branding here

Grant Tremblay

Dr. Grant Tremblay is an Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics