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R. K. Smith (NASA/GSFC & JHU)
It is now unquestioned that X-ray observations provide a useful approach to ISM studies, not only the hot ISM but cool gas seen in absorption, dust grain scattering, as well as shock/cloud interactions. Chandra and XMM/Newton have begun this work but are hampered by the (relatively) low effective area and spectral resolution available for diffuse sources. We discuss how Constellation-X will be able to dramatically improve studies of the ISM. We will show how: (1) High-resolution and large effective area absorption spectroscopy can be used to study IS gas motions, abundances, and ionization balance, (2) Non-dispersive spectroscopy can study shock/cloud interactions to disentangle the processes by which SN ejecta mix into the ISM while simultaneously heating it, and (3) Dust grain composition and distribution can be measured both in absorption and emission (via dust-scattered halos)
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.