CfA OIR Division Lunch Talks
Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 11:00 am, Pratt Conference Room

Probing ISM and Dust Abundance with X-rays

Lia Corrales (Columbia)

X-ray spectroscopy reveals the presence and abundance of heavy elements in space. Many of these -- such as carbon, oxygen, and iron -- are common contributors to interstellar dust. Absorption edges in an X-ray spectrum directly probe the abundance of elements in gas and dust form. The spectrum from dust scattering provides abundances for grains only. These two pieces of information directly measure the depletion of gas-phase metals into dust grains and test conventional assumptions regarding ISM abundances. We demonstrate this technique with observations of Cygnus X-3 made with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating.