Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 441, 3170-3176 (2014/July-2)
Prospects of 3D mapping of the Galactic Centre clouds with X-ray polarimetry.
MARIN F., KARAS V., KUNNERIATH D. and MULERI F.
Abstract (from CDS):
Despite past panchromatic observations of the innermost part of the Milky Way, the overall structure of the Galactic Centre (GC) remains enigmatic in terms of geometry. In this paper, we aim to show how polarimetry can probe the three-dimensional position of the molecular material in the central ∼ 100 pc of the GC. We investigate a model where the central supermassive black hole Sgr A* is radiatively coupled to a fragmented circumnuclear disc (CND), an elliptical twisted ring representative of the central molecular zone (CMZ), and the two main, bright molecular clouds Sgr B2 and Sgr C. 8-35 keV integrated polarization mapping reveals that Sgr B2 and Sgr C, situated at the two sides of the CMZ, present the highest polarization degrees (66.5 and 47.8 percent, respectively), both associated with a polarization position angle ψ = 90° (normal to the scattering plane). The CND shows a lower polarization degree, 1.0 percent with ψ = -20 _.^○5, tracing the inclination of the CND with respect to the Galactic plane. The CMZ polarization is spatially variable. We also consider a range of spatial locations for Sgr A* and the reprocessing media, and investigate how the modelled three-dimensional geometry influences the resulting GC polarization. The two reflection nebulae are found to always produce high polarization degrees (≫10 percent). We show that a 500 ks observation with a broad-band polarimeter could constrain the location and the morphology of the scattering material with respect to the emitting source, revealing the past activity of Sgr A*.
© 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014)
polarization - radiative transfer - scattering - Galaxy: centre - Galaxy: nucleus - X-rays: general
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