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Over the next decade, we can expect time domain astronomy to flourish at optical and radio wavelengths. In parallel with these efforts, a dedicated transient "machine" operating at higher energies (X-ray band through soft gamma-rays) is required to reveal the unique subset of events with variable emission predominantly visible above 100 eV. Here we focus on the transient phase space never yet sampled due to the lack of a sensitive, wide-field and triggering facility dedicated exclusively to catching high energy transients and enabling rapid coordinated multi-wavelength follow-up. We first describe the advancements in our understanding of known X-ray transients that can only be enabled through such a facility and then focus on the classes of transients theoretically predicted to be out of reach of current detection capabilities. Finally there is the exciting opportunity of revealing new classes of X-ray transients and unveiling their nature through coordinated follow-up observations at longer wavelengths.


Additional authors: Nobu Kawai (Tokyo Inst. Tech.), Neil Gehrels (GSFC), Brian Metzger (UC Berkeley), Branden Allen (Harvard/CfA), Didier Barret (CESR-Toulouse), Angela Bazzano (IASF-Rome), Giovanni Bignami (IASF-Milan), Patrizia Caraveo (IASF-Milan), Stephane Corbel (U. Paris Diderot, CEA Saclay), Andrea De Luca (INAF-Milan), Jeremy Drake (Harvard/CfA), Pepi Fabbiano (SAO), Mark Finger (USRA), Marco Feroci (INAF-Rome), Dieter Hartmann (Clemson), JaeSub Hong (Harvard/CfA), Garrett Jernigan (UC Berkeley), Philip Kaaret(U. Iowa), Chryssa Kouveliotou (MSFC), Alexander Kutyrev (GSFC), Avi Loeb (Harvard/CfA), Giovanni Pareschi (INAF-Brera), Gerry Skinner (GSFC), Rosanne Di Stefano (Harvard/CfA), Gianpiero Tagliaferri (INAF-OABrera), Pietro Ubertini (IASF-Rome), Michiel van der Klis (U. Amsterdam), Colleen A. Wilson-Hodge (MSFC)