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Preprint 08/00

On the Absorption of X-rays in the Interstellar Medium

J. Wilms (1), A. Allen (2), R. McCray (2)

(1) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Astronomie, Universität Tübingen, Waldhäuser Str. 64, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
(2) JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-440, U.S.A.

2000, ApJ 542, 914-924

Abstract. We present an improved model for the absorption of X-rays in the interstellar medium (ISM) intended for use with data from future X-ray missions with larger effective areas and increased energy resolution such as Chandra and the X-ray Multiple Mirror mission, in the energy range above 100eV. Compared to previous work, our formalism includes recent updates to the photoionization cross section and revised abundances of the interstellar medium, as well as a treatment of interstellar grains and the H2 molecule. We review the theoretical and observational motivations behind these updates and provide a subroutine for the X-ray spectral analysis program XSPEC that incorporates our model.

Key words: Atomic data - ISM: abundances - dust, extinction - X-rays: ISM

Paper (127k gzip'ed Postscript including figures)

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