AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 20 X-ray Studies of AGN and the High Energy Cosmic Background
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[20.06] A re-consideration of the HEAO-1 A2 Measurements of the Cosmic X-ray Background Surface Brightness

K. Jahoda (GSFC)

The HEAO-1 A2 experiment was designed to make high precision and low systematics measurements of the Cosmic X-ray Background from 0.1 - 60 keV. No subsequent experiment has been capable of similarly clean separation of cosmic and instrumental background. Most more recent measurements of the 2-10 keV surface brightness are 20% higher than values derived from the spectral parameterization of the 3-50 keV spectrum given in the original A2 analysis of Marshall et al. (1980, ApJ 235, 4 (M80)). A recent analysis of archival A2 data by Revnivtsev et al. (astro-ph/0412304 (R05)) finds a surface brightness 15-20% higher than M80, an uncomfortably large discrepancy for data taken from a single experiment. We present a third analysis of the A2 data and identify two effects neglected in the comparison of previous A2 results: (a) the extrapolation of the M80 parameterization below 3 keV fails to describe the data; (b) R05 uses an unabsorbed, and high, value for the flux from the Crab nebula plus pulsar which results in a high value for the inferred count rate to CXB surface brightness conversion. Correcting for these effects, our best estimate of the 2-10 keV surface brightness is 1.84 \times 10-11 ergs cm-2 s-1 deg-2 on a flux scale where the (absorbed) 2-10 Crab flux is 2.32 \times 10-8 ergs cm-2 s-1. This value is only about 10% below the average compiled by Moretti et al. (2003, ApJ, 588, 696). We discuss how well the X-ray brightness of the Crab, to which this measurement is normalized, is known.

This research made use of data from the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: keith.m.jahoda@nasa.gov

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