X-ray extinction from interstellar dust. Prospects of observing carbon, sulfur, and other trace elements
Aims: We present a study on the prospects of observing carbon, sulfur, and other lower abundance elements (namely Al, Ca, Ti, and Ni) present in the interstellar medium using future X-ray instruments. We focus in particular on the detection and characterization of interstellar dust along the lines of sight.
Methods: We compared the simulated data with different sets of dust aggregates, either obtained from past literature or measured by us using the SOLEIL-LUCIA synchrotron beamline. Extinction by interstellar grains induces modulations of a given photolelectric edge, which can be in principle traced back to the chemistry of the absorbing grains. We simulated data of instruments with characteristics of resolution and sensitivity of the current Athena, XRISM, and Arcus concepts.
Results: In the relatively near future, the depletion and abundances of the elements under study will be determined with confidence. In the case of carbon and sulfur, the characterization of the chemistry of the absorbing dust will be also determined, depending on the dominant compound. For aluminum and calcium, despite the large depletion in the interstellar medium and the prominent dust absorption, in many cases the edge feature may not be changing significantly with the change of chemistry in the Al- or Ca-bearing compounds. The exinction signature of large grains may be detected and modeled, allowing a test on different grain size distributions for these elements. The low cosmic abundance of Ti and Ni will not allow us a detailed study of the edge features.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- September 2019
- X-rays: ISM;
- techniques: spectroscopic;
- X-rays: individuals: GX5-1;
- X-rays: individuals: GX340+00;
- X-rays: individuals: GX3+1;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 12 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy &