Hitomi mission glimpses cosmic 'recipe'

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Hitomi mission glimpses cosmic 'recipe' for the nearby universe
    November 13, 2017 by Raleigh Mcelvery

    November 13, 2017 by Raleigh Mcelvery

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    The Perseus galaxy cluster, located about 240 million light-years away, is shown in this composite of visible light (green and red) and near-infrared images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Unseen here is a thin, hot, X-ray-emitting gas that fills the cluster. Credit: Robert Lupton and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Consortium
    Before its brief mission ended unexpectedly in March 2016, Japan's Hitomi X-ray observatory captured exceptional information about the motions of hot gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster. Now, thanks to unprecedented detail provided by an instrument developed jointly by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), scientists have been able to analyze more deeply the chemical make-up of this gas, providing new insights into the stellar explosions that formed most of these elements and cast them into space.

    The Perseus cluster, located 240 million light-years away in its namesake constellation, is the brightest galaxy cluster in X-rays and among the most massive near Earth. It contains thousands of galaxies orbiting within a thin hot gas, all bound together by gravity. The gas averages 90 million degrees Fahrenheit (50 million degrees Celsius) and is the source of the cluster's X-ray emission.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-hitomi-mission-glimpses-cosmic-recipe.html#jCp

    the paper:
    Solar abundance ratios of the iron-peak elements in the Perseus cluster:

    The metal abundance of the hot plasma that permeates galaxy clusters represents the accumulation of heavy elements produced by billions of supernovae1. Therefore, X-ray spectroscopy of the intracluster medium provides an opportunity to investigate the nature of supernova explosions integrated over cosmic time. In particular, the abundance of the iron-peak elements (chromium, manganese, iron and nickel) is key to understanding how the progenitors of typical type Ia supernovae evolve and explode2,3,4,5,6. Recent X-ray studies of the intracluster medium found that the abundance ratios of these elements differ substantially from those seen in the Sun7,8,9,10,11, suggesting differences between the nature of type Ia supernovae in the clusters and in the Milky Way. However, because the K-shell transition lines of chromium and manganese are weak and those of iron and nickel are very close in photon energy, high-resolution spectroscopy is required for an accurate determination of the abundances of these elements. Here we report observations of the Perseus cluster, with statistically significant detections of the resonance emission from chromium, manganese and nickel. Our measurements, combined with the latest atomic models, reveal that these elements have near-solar abundance ratios with respect to iron, in contrast to previous claims. Comparison between our results and modern nucleosynthesis calculations12,13,14 disfavours the hypothesis that type Ia supernova progenitors are exclusively white dwarfs with masses well below the Chandrasekhar limit (about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun). The observed abundance pattern of the iron-peak elements can be explained by taking into account a combination of near- and sub-Chandrasekhar-mass type Ia supernova systems, adding to the mounting evidence that both progenitor types make a substantial contribution to cosmic chemical enrichment5,15,16.


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