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  Exploring the interstellar medium using an asymmetric X-ray dust scattering halo

Jin, C., Ponti, G., Li, G., & Bogensberger, D. (2019). Exploring the interstellar medium using an asymmetric X-ray dust scattering halo. The Astrophysical Journal, 875(2): 157. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab11d1.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-AC0E-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-AC0F-C
Genre: Journal Article

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Jin, Chichuan, Author
Ponti, Gabriele1, Author              
Li, Guangxing, Author
Bogensberger, David1, Author              
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1High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159890              

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 Abstract: SWIFT J1658.2−4242 is an X-ray transient discovered recently in the Galactic plane, with severe X-ray absorption corresponding to an equivalent hydrogen column density of ~2 × 1023 cm−2. Using new Chandra and XMM-Newton data, we discover a strong X-ray dust scattering halo around it. The halo profile can be well fitted by the scattering from at least three separated dust layers. During the persistent emission phase of SWIFT J1658.2−4242, the best-fit dust scattering N H,sca based on the COMP-AC-S dust grain model is consistent with the X-ray absorbing N H,abs. The best-fit halo models show that 85%–90% of the intervening gas and dust along the line of sight of SWIFT J1658.2−4242 are located in the foreground interstellar medium in the Galactic disk. The dust scattering halo also shows significant azimuthal asymmetry, which appears consistent with the inhomogeneous distribution of foreground molecular clouds. By matching the different dust layers to the distribution of molecular clouds along the line of sight, we estimate the source distance to be ~10 kpc, which is also consistent with the results given by several other independent methods of disance estimation. The dust scattering opacity and the existence of a halo can introduce a significant spectral bias, the level of which depends on the shape of the instrumental point-spread function and the source extraction region. We create the xspec dscor model to correct for this spectral bias for different X-ray instruments. Our study reinforces the importance of considering the spectral effects of dust scattering in other absorbed X-ray sources.

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 Dates: 2019-04-25
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab11d1
Other: LOCALID: 3058550
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Bristol, England : IOP Publishing LTD
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 875 (2) Sequence Number: 157 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1538-4357
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215_3