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Session 32 - General ISM.
Oral session, Wednesday, January 07
Small angle scatterings of X-rays by interstellar dust particles create halos around x-ray sources. By observing these halos with sufficient angular resolution it is possible to derive information about both the spatial distribution of the dust along the line of sight to the source and some of the physical properties of the scattering dust particles. Previous analyses of halos have been used to infer that the scattering dust particles must be fluffy. These fluffy dust particles have also been suggested as a possible solution to the interstellar carbon "crisis." This crisis results from the discrepancy between the available ISM carbon abundance and the amount required to be in dust to account for the average ISM extinction. Dwek (1997), however, pointed out that fluffy dust particles may not solve the carbon crisis. In light of this, we re-examine the evidence for fluffy dust in the ISM from x-ray scattering data.
We find that previous studies overestimated the intensity of the halos by using the RG approximation, which fails for energies below 1 keV. Using the exact Mie solution we find that below 1 keV the scattering becomes much less efficient. Applying the Mie calculations to the x-ray halo observed around Nova Cygni 1992, we conclude that the data can be explained by scattering from regular dust, and does not require interstellar dust particles to be fluffy.
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