The effects of dust scattering on high resolution X-ray absorption edge structure
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High energy studies of astrophysical dust complement observations of dusty interstellar gas at other wavelengths. With high resolution X-ray spectroscopy, dust scattering significantly enhances the total extinction optical depth and alters the shape of photoelectric absorption edges. This effect is modulated by the dust grain size distribution, spatial location along the line of sight, and the imaging resolution of the X-ray telescope. At soft energies, the spectrum of scattered light is likely to have significant features at the 0.3 keV (C-K), 0.5 keV (O-K), and 0.7 keV (Fe-L) photoelectric absorption edges. We focus in particular on the Fe-L edge, fitting a template for the total extinction to the high resolution spectrum of three X-ray binaries from the Chandra archive: GX 9+9, XTE J1817-330, and Cyg X-1. We discuss ways in which spectroscopy with Chandra and XMM can yield insight into dust obscured objects such as stars, binaries, AGN, and foreground quasar absorption line systems.
An archive of select poster and presentation slides.
Light echo from star V838
(NASA/ESA/H E Bond)