摘要: Time-domain astrophysics will enter a golden era towards the end of this decade with the advent of major facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum and in the multi-messenger realms of gravitational wave and neutrino. In the soft X-ray regime, the novel micro-pore lobster-eye optics provides a promising technology to realise, for the first time, focusing X-ray optics for wide-angle monitors to achieve a good combination of sensitivity and wide field of view. In this context Einstein Probe, a soft X-ray all-sky monitor mission, was proposed and selected as a candidate mission of priority in the space science programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This paper reviews the most important science developments and key questions in this field towards 2020 and beyond, and how to achieve them technologically. It also introduces the Einstein Probe mission, including its key science goals and mission definition, as well as some of the key technological issues.