Volume 588, April 2016
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Atomic, molecular, and nuclear data|
|Published online||17 March 2016|
Plasma code for astrophysical charge exchange emission at X-ray wavelengths
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research,
Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA
2 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
3 Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received: 22 October 2015
Accepted: 22 January 2016
Charge exchange X-ray emission provides unique insight into the interactions between cold and hot astrophysical plasmas. Besides its own profound science, this emission is also technically crucial to all observations in the X-ray band, since charge exchange with the solar wind often contributes a significant foreground component that contaminates the signal of interest. By approximating the cross sections resolved to n and l atomic subshells and carrying out complete radiative cascade calculation, we have created a new spectral code to evaluate the charge exchange emission in the X-ray band. Compared to collisional thermal emission, charge exchange radiation exhibits enhanced lines from large-n shells to the ground, as well as large forbidden-to-resonance ratios of triplet transitions. Our new model successfully reproduces an observed high-quality spectrum of comet C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR), which emits purely by charge exchange between solar wind ions and cometary neutrals. It demonstrates that a proper charge exchange model will allow us to probe the ion properties remotely, including charge state, dynamics, and composition, at the interface between the cold and hot plasmas.
Key words: atomic data / atomic processes / comets: individual: C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR)
© ESO, 2016
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