Soft X-ray spectroscopy of the cygnus loop supernova remnant

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The Cygnus X-Ray Emission Spectroscopic Survey (CyXESS) sounding rocket payload was launched from White Sands Missile Range on 2006 November 20 and obtained a high-resolution spectrum of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant in the soft X-ray. The novel X-ray spectrograph incorporated a wire-grid collimator feeding an array of gratings in the extreme off-plane mount that ultimately dispersed the spectrum onto gaseous electron multiplier (GEM) detectors. This instrument recorded 65 s of usable data between 43 and 49.5 Å in two prominent features. The first feature near 45 Å is dominated by the He-like triplet of O VII in second order with contributions from Mg X and Si IX-Si XII in first order, while the second feature near 47.5 Å is first-order S IX and S X. Fits to the spectra give an equilibrium plasma at log (T) = 6.2 (kTe, = 0.14 keV) and near cosmic abundances. This is consistent with previous observations, which demonstrated that the soft X-ray emission from the Cygnus Loop is dominated by interactions between the initial blast wave and the walls of a precursor-formed cavity surrounding the Cygnus Loop and that this interaction can be described using equilibrium conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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