Volume 584, December 2015
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||07 December 2015|
A novel scenario for the possible X-ray line feature at ~3.5 keV
Charge exchange with bare sulfur ions
1 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
3 Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, The Netherland s
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Center for Simulational Physics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Received: 24 October 2015
Accepted: 12 November 2015
Motivated by recent claims of a compelling ~3.5 keV emission line from nearby galaxies and galaxy clusters, we investigate a novel plasma model incorporating a charge exchange component obtained from theoretical scattering calculations. Fitting this kind of component with a standard thermal model yields positive residuals around 3.5 keV, produced mostly by S xvi transitions from principal quantum numbers n ≥ 9 to the ground. Such high-n states can only be populated by the charge exchange process. In this scenario, the observed 3.5 keV line flux in clusters can be naturally explained by an interaction in an effective volume of ~1 kpc3 between a ~3 keV temperature plasma and cold dense clouds moving at a few hundred keV-1. The S xvi lines at ~3.5 keV also provide a unique diagnostic of the charge exchange phenomenon in hot cosmic plasmas.
Key words: atomic processes / line: identification / X-rays: galaxies: clusters
© ESO, 2015
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