Journal Article

Evidence for Solar-Wind Charge-Exchange X-Ray Emission from the Earth’s Magnetosheath

Ryuichi Fujimoto, Kazuhisa Mitsuda, Dan McCammon, Yoh Takei, Michael Bauer, Yoshitaka Ishisaki, F. Scott Porter, Hiroya Yamaguchi, Kiyoshi Hayashida and Noriko Y. Yamasaki

in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan

Volume 59, issue sp1, pages S133-S140
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0004-6264
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 2053-051X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pasj/59.sp1.S133
Evidence for Solar-Wind Charge-Exchange X-Ray Emission from the Earth’s Magnetosheath

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  • Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Solar Physics
  • Planetary Systems

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We report an apparent detection of the C VI 4p to 1s transition line at 459 eV, during a long-term enhancement (LTE) in the Suzaku north ecliptic pole observation of 2005 September 2. The observed line intensity is comparable to that of the C VI 2p to 1s line at 367 eV. This is strong evidence for the charge-exchange process. In addition, O VII, O VIII, Ne X, and Mg XI lines showed clear enhancements. There are also features in the 750–900–eV range that could be due to some combination of Fe L lines, higher order transitions of O VIII (3p to 1s and 6p to 1s), and a Ne IX line. From the correlation of the X-ray intensity with the solar-wind flux on time scales of about half a day, and from the short-term ([math]) variations of the X-ray intensity, these lines most likely arise from solar-wind heavy ions interacting with neutral material in the Earth’s magnetosheath. A hard power-law component is also necessary to explain the LTE spectrum. Its origin is not yet known. Our results indicate that solar activity can significantly contaminate Suzaku cosmic X-ray spectra below [math]. Recommendations are provided for recognizing such contamination in observations of extended sources.

Keywords: atomic processes; Earth; interplanetary medium; solar wind; X-rays: diffuse background

Journal Article.  5020 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics ; Astronomy and Astrophysics ; Solar Physics ; Planetary Systems

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