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On the interpretation of the soft X-ray background. II - What do the beryllium band data really tell us?
Kahn, Steven M.; Jakobsen, Peter
AA(California, University, Berkeley), AB(ESA, Astrophysics Div., Noordwijk, Netherlands)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 329, June 1, 1988, p. 406-409. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Space Radiation
NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Spectroscopy, Background Radiation, Interstellar Matter, Metallicity, X Ray Astronomy, Absorbers (Materials), Beryllium, Boron, Spectral Bands
Bibliographic Code:


Bloch et al. (1986) have recently presented observations of the soft X-ray background in the low-energy beryllium band (0.078-0.11 keV). They argue that the lack of apparent variation in the ratio of beryllium band intensity to higher energy boron band intensity indicates an absence of intervening absorbing material in the local interstellar medium with upper limits to N(H) of order several times 10 to the 18th/sq cm. If this result is correct, then the X-ray-emitting gas must be located very close to the sun, which would require that it be significantly over-pressured with respect to the rest of the interstellar medium. It is shown that this extreme constraint can be avoided if one allows for the likely possibility that the absorbing component is comprised of clouds embedded within the hot emitting gas. The observations may well be entirely consistent with photoelectric absorption of the beryllium band emission for a range of embedded models having widely different geometries.

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