The absorption of soft X-rays from the Crab nebula

Iyengar, V. S. ; Naranan, S. ; Sreekantan, B. V. (1975) The absorption of soft X-rays from the Crab nebula Astrophysics and Space Science, 32 (2). pp. 431-446. ISSN 0004-640X

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The X-ray spectrum of the Crab nebula has been determined in the energy range 0.5 10 keV using thin window proportional counters carried aboard a Centaur IIA rocket launched from TERLS, India. The spectrum can be well represented by a power law with an exponent-2.1 beyond 2 keV. The absorption of the soft X-ray component below 2 keV is clearly seen in the experiment. Attempts to understand quantitatively the spectral features in terms of interstellar absorption lead to a column density of hydrogen in the iirection of the Crab nebula of 3.5×1021 H atoms cm-2, if we adopt a revised version of the interstellar absorption coefficients of Brown and Gould to include the contributions of heavier elements, especially of iron. This value of density is a factor of 2 higher than the density obtained from 21 cm radio observations, but falls well within the range of values for atomic and total hydrogen deducible from UV measurements with satellites and the measured visual extinction coefficients for the Crab nebula. It is concluded that it is not necessary to consider anomalous abundance of elements like carbon or neon either in the source or in the interstellar medium as suggested by some authors. The absorption of X-rays in the interstellar dust in the light of current dust models is presented.

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Deposited On:21 Jul 2011 08:54
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