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Title: Solar wind charge exchange emission in the Chandra deep field north

Abstract

The diffuse soft X-ray background comes from distant galaxies, from hot Galactic gas, and from within the solar system. The latter emission arises from charge exchange between highly charged solar wind ions and neutral gas. This so-called solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) emission is spatially and temporally variable and interferes with our measurements of more distant cosmic emission while also providing important information on the nature of the solar wind-interstellar medium interaction. We present the results of our analysis of eight Chandra observations of the Chandra Deep Field North (CDFN) with the goal of measuring the cosmic and SWCX contributions to the X-ray background. Our modeling of both geocoronal and heliospheric SWCX emission is the most detailed for any observation to date. After allowing for ∼30% uncertainty in the SWCX emission and subtracting it from the observational data, we estimate that the flux of cosmic background for the CDFN in the O VII Kα, Kβ, and O VIII Lyα lines totals 5.8 ± 1.1 photons s{sup –1} cm{sup –2} sr{sup –1} (or LU). Heliospheric SWCX emission varied for each observation due to differences in solar wind conditions and the line of sight through the solar system, but was typically aboutmore » half as strong as the cosmic background (i.e., one-third of the total) in those lines. The modeled geocoronal emission was 0.82 LU in one observation but averaged only 0.15 LU in the others. Our measurement of the cosmic background is lower than but marginally consistent with previous estimates based on XMM-Newton data.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  2. LATMOS/IPSL, CNRS, Université Versailles Saint Quentin, 11 Boulevard d'Alembert, F-78280, Guyancourt (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348560
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 779; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CHARGE EXCHANGE; EMISSION; GALAXIES; HELIOSPHERE; INTERACTIONS; PHOTONS; SIMULATION; SOFT X RADIATION; SOLAR SYSTEM; SOLAR WIND; SUN

Citation Formats

Slavin, Jonathan D., Wargelin, Bradford J., and Koutroumpa, Dimitra. Solar wind charge exchange emission in the Chandra deep field north. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/779/1/13.
Slavin, Jonathan D., Wargelin, Bradford J., & Koutroumpa, Dimitra. Solar wind charge exchange emission in the Chandra deep field north. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/779/1/13.
Slavin, Jonathan D., Wargelin, Bradford J., and Koutroumpa, Dimitra. Tue . "Solar wind charge exchange emission in the Chandra deep field north". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/779/1/13.
@article{osti_22348560,
title = {Solar wind charge exchange emission in the Chandra deep field north},
author = {Slavin, Jonathan D. and Wargelin, Bradford J. and Koutroumpa, Dimitra},
abstractNote = {The diffuse soft X-ray background comes from distant galaxies, from hot Galactic gas, and from within the solar system. The latter emission arises from charge exchange between highly charged solar wind ions and neutral gas. This so-called solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) emission is spatially and temporally variable and interferes with our measurements of more distant cosmic emission while also providing important information on the nature of the solar wind-interstellar medium interaction. We present the results of our analysis of eight Chandra observations of the Chandra Deep Field North (CDFN) with the goal of measuring the cosmic and SWCX contributions to the X-ray background. Our modeling of both geocoronal and heliospheric SWCX emission is the most detailed for any observation to date. After allowing for ∼30% uncertainty in the SWCX emission and subtracting it from the observational data, we estimate that the flux of cosmic background for the CDFN in the O VII Kα, Kβ, and O VIII Lyα lines totals 5.8 ± 1.1 photons s{sup –1} cm{sup –2} sr{sup –1} (or LU). Heliospheric SWCX emission varied for each observation due to differences in solar wind conditions and the line of sight through the solar system, but was typically about half as strong as the cosmic background (i.e., one-third of the total) in those lines. The modeled geocoronal emission was 0.82 LU in one observation but averaged only 0.15 LU in the others. Our measurement of the cosmic background is lower than but marginally consistent with previous estimates based on XMM-Newton data.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/779/1/13},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 779,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Dec 10 00:00:00 EST 2013},
month = {Tue Dec 10 00:00:00 EST 2013}
}
  • Relevant to modeling and understanding X-ray emission from cometary and planetary atmospheres, total cross-sections for 1.17 and 2.33 keV/u O{sup 6+} colliding with H{sub 2}O, CO, CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4}, N{sub 2}, NO, N{sub 2}O, and Ar have been measured for the processes of single, double, and triple charge exchanges. Using these measurements as benchmarks, synthetic emission spectra spanning the X-ray, UV, and visible range have been calculated based on theoretical treatment of the transfer of between one and six electrons from the target neutrals to the projectile ion, followed by radiative and non-radiative decay of the highly excited statesmore » produced in these collisions. The results help add to the base of knowledge required to simulate ion-neutral processes in astrophysical environments; refine the present understanding of these fundamental atomic processes; and guide future observations, laboratory measurements, and theoretical predictions.« less
  • Absolute line emission cross sections are presented for 1 keV/amu charge exchange collisions of multiply charged solar wind ions with H{sub 2}O, H, O, CO{sub 2}, and CO cometary targets. The present calculations are contrasted with available laboratory data. A parameter-free model is used to successfully predict the recently observed x-ray spectra of comet C/LINEAR 1999 S4. We show that the resulting spectrum is extremely sensitive to the time variations of the solar wind composition. Our results suggest that orbiting x-ray satellites may be a viable way to predict the solar wind intensities and composition on the Earth many hoursmore » before the ions reach the earth.« less
  • A new and more comprehensive model of charge-exchange induced X-ray emission, due to ions precipitating into the Jovian atmosphere near the poles, has been used to analyze spectral observations made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The model includes for the first time carbon ions, in addition to the oxygen and sulfur ions previously considered, in order to account for possible ion origins from both the solar wind and the Jovian magnetosphere. By comparing the model spectra with newly reprocessed Chandra observations, we conclude that carbon ion emission provides a negligible contribution, suggesting that solar wind ions are not responsible formore » the observed polar X-rays. In addition, results of the model fits to observations support the previously estimated seeding kinetic energies of the precipitating ions ( 0.7-2 MeV/u), but infer a different relative sulfur to oxygen abundance ratio for these Chandra observations.« less
  • A new and more comprehensive model of charge-exchange induced X-ray emission, due to ions precipitating into the Jovian atmosphere near the poles, has been used to analyze spectral observations made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The model includes for the first time carbon ions, in addition to the oxygen and sulfur ions previously considered, in order to account for possible ion origins from both the solar wind and the Jovian magnetosphere. By comparing the model spectra with newly reprocessed Chandra observations, we conclude that carbon ion emission provides a negligible contribution, suggesting that solar wind ions are not responsible formore » the observed polar X-rays. In addition, results of the model fits to observations support the previously estimated seeding kinetic energies of the precipitating ions ({approx}0.7-2 MeV u{sup -1}), but infer a different relative sulfur-to-oxygen abundance ratio for these Chandra observations.« less
  • Solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) X-rays are emitted when highly charged solar wind ions such as O{sup 7{sup +}} collide with neutral gas, including the Earth's tenuous outer atmosphere (exosphere or geocorona) and hydrogen and helium from the local interstellar medium drifting through the heliosphere. This geocoronal and heliospheric emission comprises a significant and varying fraction of the soft X-ray background (SXRB) and is seen in every X-ray observation, with the intensity dependent on solar wind conditions and observation geometry. Under the right conditions, geocoronal emission can increase the apparent SXRB by roughly an order of magnitude for an hourmore » or more. In this work, we study a dozen occasions when the near-Earth solar wind flux was exceptionally high. These gusts of wind lead to abrupt changes in SWCX X-ray emission around Earth, which may or may not be seen by X-ray observatories depending on their line of sight. Using detailed three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical simulations of the solar wind's interaction with the Earth's magnetosphere, and element abundances and ionization states measured by ACE, we model the time-dependent brightness of major geocoronal SWCX emission lines during those gusts and compare with changes in the X-ray background measured by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We find reasonably good agreement between model and observation, with measured geocoronal line brightnesses averaged over 1 hr of up to 136 photons s{sup –1} cm{sup –2} sr{sup –1} in the O VII Kα triplet around 564 eV.« less