Measurement of charge exchange and X-ray emission cross sections for solar wind-comet interactions

Jason Greenwood, Ian Williams, S.J. Smith, A. Chutjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

X-ray emission from a comet was observed for the first time in 1996. One of the mechanisms believed to be contributing to this surprisingly strong emission is the interaction of highly charged solar wind ions with cometary gases. Reported herein are total absolute charge-exchange and normalized line-emission (X-ray) cross sections for collisions of high-charge state (+3 to +10) C, N, O, and Ne ions with the cometary species H2O and CO2. It is found that in several cases the double charge-exchange cross sections can be large, and in the case of C3+ they are equal to those for single charge exchange. Present results are compared to cross section values used in recent comet models. The importance of applying accurate cross sections, including double charge exchange, to obtain absolute line-emission intensities is emphasized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L175-L178
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume533
Issue number2 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

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