656 research outputs found

    A massive warm baryonic halo in the Coma cluster

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    Several deep PSPC observations of the Coma cluster reveal a very large-scale halo of soft X-ray emission, substantially in excess of the well known radiation from the hot intra-cluster medium. The excess emission, previously reported in the central region of the cluster using lower-sensitivity EUVE and ROSAT data, is now evident out to a radius of 2.6 Mpc, demonstrating that the soft excess radiation from clusters is a phenomenon of cosmological significance. The X-ray spectrum at these large radii cannot be modeled non-thermally, but is consistent with the original scenario of thermal emission from warm gas at ~ 10^6 K. The mass of the warm gas is on par with that of the hot X-ray emitting plasma, and significantly more massive if the warm gas resides in low-density filamentary structures. Thus the data lend vital support to current theories of cosmic evolution, which predict that at low redshift \~30-40 % of the baryons reside in warm filaments converging at clusters of galaxies.Comment: Astrophysical Journal, in pres

    Ion-by-Ion DEM Determination: I. Method

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    We describe a technique to derive constraints on the differential emission measure (DEM) distribution, a measure of the temperature distribution, of collisionally ionized hot plasmas from their X-ray emission line spectra. This technique involves fitting spectra using a number of components, each of which is the entire X-ray line emission spectrum for a single ion. It is applicable to high-resolution X-ray spectra of any collisionally ionized plasma and particularly useful for spectra in which the emission lines are broadened and blended such as those of the winds of hot stars. This method does not require that any explicit assumptions about the form of the DEM distribution be made and is easily automated.Comment: This paper was split in two. This version is part I. Part II may be found at astro-ph/050343

    Origins of the 1/4 keV Soft X-Ray Background

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    Snowden and coworkers have presented a model for the 1/4 keV soft X-ray diffuse background in which the observed flux is dominated by a ~ 10^6 K thermal plasma located in a 100-300 pc diameter bubble surrounding the Sun, but has significant contributions from a very patchy Galactic halo. Halo emission provides about 11% of the total observed flux and is responsible for half of the H I anticorrelation. The remainder of the anticorrelation is presumably produced by displacement of disk H I by the varying extent of the local hot bubble (LHB). The ROSAT R1 and R2 bands used for this work had the unique spatial resolution and statistical precision required for separating the halo and local components, but provide little spectral information. Some consistency checks had been made with older observations at lower X-ray energies, but we have made a careful investigation of the extent to which the model is supported by existing sounding rocket data in the Be (73-111 eV) and B bands (115-188 eV) where the sensitivities to the model are qualitatively different from the ROSAT bands. We conclude that the two-component model is well supported by the low-energy data. We find that these combined observations of the local component may be consistent with single-temperature thermal emission models in collisional ionization equilibrium if depleted abundances are assumed. However, different model implementations give significantly different results, offering little support for the conclusion that the astrophysical situation is so simple.Comment: 17 pages, 6 figures, accepted by the Astrophysical Journa

    Smoothed Particle Inference: A Kilo-Parametric Method for X-ray Galaxy Cluster Modeling

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    We propose an ambitious new method that models the intracluster medium in clusters of galaxies as a set of X-ray emitting smoothed particles of plasma. Each smoothed particle is described by a handful of parameters including temperature, location, size, and elemental abundances. Hundreds to thousands of these particles are used to construct a model cluster of galaxies, with the appropriate complexity estimated from the data quality. This model is then compared iteratively with X-ray data in the form of adaptively binned photon lists via a two-sample likelihood statistic and iterated via Markov Chain Monte Carlo. The complex cluster model is propagated through the X-ray instrument response using direct sampling Monte Carlo methods. Using this approach the method can reproduce many of the features observed in the X-ray emission in a less assumption-dependent way that traditional analyses, and it allows for a more detailed characterization of the density, temperature, and metal abundance structure of clusters. Multi-instrument X-ray analyses and simultaneous X-ray, Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ), and lensing analyses are a straight-forward extension of this methodology. Significant challenges still exist in understanding the degeneracy in these models and the statistical noise induced by the complexity of the models.Comment: 17 pages, 29 figures, ApJ accepte

    Bandpass Dependence of X-ray Temperatures in Galaxy Clusters

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    We explore the band dependence of the inferred X-ray temperature of the intracluster medium (ICM) for 192 well-observed galaxy clusters selected from the Chandra Data Archive. If the hot ICM is nearly isothermal in the projected region of interest, the X-ray temperature inferred from a broad-band (0.7-7.0 keV) spectrum should be identical to the X-ray temperature inferred from a hard-band (2.0-7.0 keV) spectrum. However, if unresolved cool lumps of gas are contributing soft X-ray emission, the temperature of a best-fit single-component thermal model will be cooler for the broad-band spectrum than for the hard-band spectrum. Using this difference as a diagnostic, the ratio of best-fitting hard-band and broad-band temperatures may indicate the presence of cooler gas even when the X-ray spectrum itself may not have sufficient signal-to-noise to resolve multiple temperature components. To test this possible diagnostic, we extract X-ray spectra from core-excised annular regions for each cluster in our archival sample. We compare the X-ray temperatures inferred from single-temperature fits when the energy range of the fit is 0.7-7.0 keV (broad) and when the energy range is 2.0/(1+z)-7.0 keV (hard). We find that the hard-band temperature is significantly higher, on average, than the broad-band temperature. Upon further exploration, we find this temperature ratio is enhanced preferentially for clusters which are known merging systems. In addition, cool-core clusters tend to have best-fit hard-band temperatures that are in closer agreement with their best-fit broad-band temperatures. We show, using simulated spectra, that this diagnostic is sensitive to secondary cool components (TX = 0.5-3.0 keV) with emission measures >10-30% of the primary hot component.Comment: Accepted for publication in Ap

    An XMM-Newton Observation of the Local Bubble Using a Shadowing Filament in the Southern Galactic Hemisphere

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    We present an analysis of the X-ray spectrum of the Local Bubble, obtained by simultaneously analyzing spectra from two XMM-Newton pointings on and off an absorbing filament in the Southern galactic hemisphere (b ~ -45 deg). We use the difference in the Galactic column density in these two directions to deduce the contributions of the unabsorbed foreground emission due to the Local Bubble, and the absorbed emission from the Galactic halo and the extragalactic background. We find the Local Bubble emission is consistent with emission from a plasma in collisional ionization equilibrium with a temperature log⁡TLB=6.06−0.04+0.02\log T_{LB} = 6.06^{+0.02}_{-0.04} and an emission measure of 0.018 cm^{-6} pc. Our measured temperature is in good agreement with values obtained from ROSAT All-Sky Survey data, but is lower than that measured by other recent XMM-Newton observations of the Local Bubble, which find log⁡TLB≈6.2\log T_{LB} \approx 6.2 (although for some of these observations it is possible that the foreground emission is contaminated by non-Local Bubble emission from Loop I). The higher temperature observed towards other directions is inconsistent with our data, when combined with a FUSE measurement of the Galactic halo O VI intensity. This therefore suggests that the Local Bubble is thermally anisotropic. Our data are unable to rule out a non-equilibrium model in which the plasma is underionized. However, an overionized recombining plasma model, while observationally acceptable for certain densities and temperatures, generally gives an implausibly young age for the Local Bubble (\la 6 \times 10^5 yr).Comment: Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. 16 pages, 9 figure

    The Origin of Soft X-rays in DQ Herculis

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    DQ Herculis (Nova Herculis 1934) is a deeply eclipsing cataclysmic variable containing a magnetic white dwarf primary. The accretion disk is thought to block our line of sight to the white dwarf at all orbital phases due to its extreme inclination angle. Nevertheless, soft X-rays were detected from DQ Her with ROSAT PSPC. To probe the origin of these soft X-rays, we have performed Chandra ACIS observations. We confirm that DQ Her is an X-ray source. The bulk of the X-rays are from a point-like source and exhibit a shallow partial eclipse. We interpret this as due to scattering of the unseen central X-ray source, probably in an accretion disk wind. At the same time, we observe what appear to be weak extended X-ray features around DQ Her, which we interpret as an X-ray emitting knot in the nova shell.Comment: 18 pages including 4 figures, accepted for publication in Astrphyisical Journa

    Ni abundance in the core of the Perseus Cluster: an answer to the significance of resonant scattering

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    Using an XMM-Newton observation of the Perseus cluster we show that the excess in the flux of the 7-8 keV line complex previously detected by ASCA and BeppoSAX is due to an overabundance of Nickel rather than to an anomalously high Fe HeÎČ\beta/Fe Heα\alpha ratio. This observational fact leads to the main result that resonant scattering, which was assumed to be responsible for the supposed anomalous Fe HeÎČ\beta/Fe Heα\alpha ratio, is no longer required. The absence of resonant scattering points towards the presence of significant gas motions (either turbulent or laminar) in the core of the Perseus cluster.Comment: 29 pages, 10 bw figures, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa