High Resolution Spectroscopy of X-ray Quasars: Searching for the X-ray Absorption from the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium
Author(s)Canizares, Claude R.; Fang, Taotao, 1970-; Marshall, Herman
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We present a survey of six low- to moderate-redshift quasars with Chandra and XMM-Newton. The primary goal is to search for the narrow X-ray absorption lines produced by highly ionized metals in the warm-hot intergalactic medium. All the X-ray spectra can be fitted by a power law with the neutral hydrogen absorption method. The residuals that may be caused by additional emission mechanisms or calibration uncertainties are taken account by a polynomial in order to search for narrow absorption features. No real absorption line is detected at above the 3 σ level in all of the spectra. We discuss the implications of the lack of absorption lines for our understanding of the baryon content of the universe and the metallicity of the intergalactic medium (IGM). We find that the nondetection of X-ray absorption lines indicates that the metal abundance of the IGM should be smaller than ~0.3 solar abundance. We also discuss implications of the nondetection of any local (z ~ 0) X-ray absorption associated with the interstellar medium, Galactic halo, or Local Group, such as has been seen along several other lines of sight (LOSs). By comparing a pair of LOSs we estimate a lower limit on the hydrogen number density for the (z ~ 0) 3C 273 absorber of nH gtrsim 4 × 10[superscript -3] cm[superscript -3].
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Fang, Taotao, Claude R. Canizares, and Herman L. Marshall. “High‐Resolution Spectroscopy of X‐Ray Quasars: Searching for the X‐Ray Absorption from the Warm‐Hot Intergalactic Medium.” The Astrophysical Journal 633.1 (2005): 61–70.
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