Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astrophysicists Simulate Comet X-ray Emissions In Laboratory

Date:
June 6, 2003
Source:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Summary:
Physicists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have produced X-ray emissions in a laboratory setting by recreating the conditions that exist when solar winds collide with gases surrounding comets.

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Physicists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have produced X-ray emissions in a laboratory setting by recreating the conditions that exist when solar winds collide with gases surrounding comets. Using the electron beam ion trap facility located at Livermore Laboratory, physicists Peter Beiersdorfer, Hui Chen and Mark May created charge exchange between heavy ions to produce X-ray emissions, similar to what happens when solar wind and gases collide in a comet.

Related Articles


In collaboration with researchers from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Columbia University Department of Physics and the University of Missouri-Rolla Department of Physics, the team will present “Laboratory Simulation of Charge Exchange-Produced X-ray Emission From Comets” in the June 6 edition of Science.

The researchers studied charge exchange-induced cometary X-ray emissions by installing the spare X-ray microcalorimeter spectrometer (XRS) from the ASTRO-E satellite mission onto Livermore’s existing electron beam ion trap. The XRS was designed to view distant objects such as supernova remnants with a higher spectral resolution than is available at the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Beiersdorfer said that cometary X-rays can serve as a diagnostic for solar activity and hence “space weather” by measuring the quantity and composition of the heavy ion flux in solar wind. In addition, recent work has shown that emissions can be a potential tool to gauge the speed of the solar wind.

“Because comets enter the solar system from different directions in and out of the ecliptic, they probe regions that are not covered by spacecraft,” he said.

Cometary X-ray emissions form when a continuous stream of charged heavy ions in the solar wind collide with the gases surrounding the nucleus of a comet.. The collision is believed to neutralize the solar wind ions and induce them to give off X-rays characteristic of the ions and gases involved in the collision.

Actual X-ray emissions have been observed at the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In the Livermore experiments, the Goddard microcalorimeter recorded X-ray data that explained the emission seen from comets in the solar system.

“Next to the Sun, the process we demonstrated here at Livermore makes comets the strongest X-ray emitters in the solar system,” Beiersdorfer said.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Astrophysicists Simulate Comet X-ray Emissions In Laboratory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030606080932.htm>.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (2003, June 6). Astrophysicists Simulate Comet X-ray Emissions In Laboratory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030606080932.htm
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Astrophysicists Simulate Comet X-ray Emissions In Laboratory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030606080932.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) The Geminids meteor shower lights up the skies over the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

Raw: Defense Satellite Launches from California

AP (Dec. 13, 2014) A U.S. defense satellite launched from California's central coast on Friday after weather delays caused by a major storm that drenched the state. (Dec. 13) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins