Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 453, 1121-1135 (2015/October-2)
The dust scattering halo of Cygnus X-3.
CORRALES L.R. and PAERELS F.
Abstract (from CDS):
Dust grains scatter X-ray light through small angles, producing a diffuse halo image around bright X-ray point sources situated behind a large amount of interstellar material. We present analytic solutions to the integral for the dust scattering intensity, which allow for a Bayesian analysis of the scattering halo around Cygnus X-3. Fitting the optically thin 4-6 keV halo surface brightness profile yields the dust grain size and spatial distribution. We assume a power-law distribution of grain sizes (n∝a-p) and fit for p, the grain radius cut-off amax, and dust mass column. We find that a p ~ 3.5 dust grain size distribution with amax ~ 0.2µm fits the halo profile relatively well, whether the dust is distributed uniformly along the line of sight or in clumps. We find that a model consisting of two dust screens, representative of foreground spiral arms, requires the foreground Perseus arm to contain 80 percent of the total dust mass. The remaining 20 percent of the dust, which may be associated with the outer spiral arm of the Milky Way, is located within 1 kpc of Cyg X-3. Regardless of which model was used, we found τ_sca ∼2 E_keV^-2. We examine the energy resolved haloes of Cyg X-3 from 1 to 6 keV and find that there is a sharp drop in scattering halo intensity when E < 2-3 keV, which cannot be explained with multiple scattering effects. We hypothesize that this may be caused by large dust grains or material with unique dielectric properties, causing the scattering cross-section to depart from the Rayleigh-Gans approximation that is used most often in X-ray scattering studies. The foreground Cyg OB2 association, which contains several evolved stars with large extinction values, is a likely culprit for grains of unique size or composition.
© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015)
scattering - methods: observational - dust, extinction - ISM: structure - X-rays: individual: Cygnus X-3 - X-rays: ISM
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