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N.S. Schulz, H.L. Marshall, D. Dewey, W. Cui, C.R. Canizares (MIT)
X-ray binaries are among the brightest X-ray sources in the sky. During its first months of operations the Chandra X-ray observatory already observed a variety of bright X-ray binaries with the High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS) providing X-ray spectra with a resolving power of up to 1000. Among the sources presented are Cyg X-2 and 4U 1636-53 as examples for LMXB spectra, and SS 433 and Cyg X-1 as examples for black hole candidates. We describe the highly resolved undispersed image in terms of possible extended X-ray emission and the detection of scattering halos which have been inferred for bright Galactic X-ray sources. We search the spectra for neutral absorption edges, predominantly at O, Fe, Ne, and Mg, which allow to determine interstellar column densities with unprecedented accuracy. From a preliminary analysis of the dispersed spectra we identify line energies and widths, measure possible redshifts and discuss the origin of the line emission.
This research is funded under NASA contract NAS8-38249 and SAO SV1-61010.