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Laboratory Simulation of Charge Exchange-Produced X-ray Emission from Comets

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Science  06 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5625, pp. 1558-1559
DOI: 10.1126/science.1084373

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Abstract

In laboratory experiments using the engineering spare microcalorimeter detector from the ASTRO-E satellite mission, we recorded the x-ray emission of highly charged ions of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, which simulates charge exchange reactions between heavy ions in the solar wind and neutral gases in cometary comae. The spectra are complex and do not readily match predictions. We developed a charge exchange emission model that successfully reproduces the soft x-ray spectrum of comet Linear C/1999 S4, observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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