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Proceedings Paper

The Lunar X-ray Observatory (LXO)
Author(s): F. Scott Porter; Tony F. Abbey; Nigel P. Bannister; Jenny A. Carter; Michael Collier; Tom Cravens; Mike Evans; George W. Fraser; Massimiliano Galeazzi; Kent Hills; Kip Kuntz; Andrew Read; Ina P. Robertson; Steve Sembay; David G. Sibeck; Steve Snowden; Timothy Stubbs; Pavel Travnicek
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Paper Abstract

X-ray emission from charge exchange recombination between the highly ionized solar wind and neutral material in Earth's magnetosheath has complicated x-ray observations of celestial objects with x-ray observatories including ROSAT, Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Suzaku. However, the charge-exchange emission can also be used as an important diagnostic of the solar-wind interacting with the magnetosheath. Soft x-ray observations from low-earth orbit or even the highly eccentric orbits of Chandra and XMM-Newton are likely superpositions of the celestial object of interest, the true extra-solar soft x-ray background, geospheric charge exchange, and heliospheric charge exchange. We show that with a small x-ray telescope placed either on the moon, in a similar vein as the Apollo ALSEP instruments, or in a stable orbit at a similar distance from the earth, we can begin to disentangle the complicated emission structure in the soft x-ray band. Here we present initial results of a feasibility study recently funded by NASA to place a small x-ray telescope on the lunar surface. The telescope operates during lunar night to observe charge exchange interactions between the solar wind and magnetosphic neutrals, between the solar wind and the lunar atmosphere, and an unobstructed view of the soft x-ray background without the geospheric component.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7011, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 70111L (15 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.790182
Show Author Affiliations
F. Scott Porter, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Tony F. Abbey, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Nigel P. Bannister, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Jenny A. Carter, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Michael Collier, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Tom Cravens, Univ. of Kansas (United States)
Mike Evans, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
George W. Fraser, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Massimiliano Galeazzi, Univ. of Miami (United States)
Kent Hills, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Kip Kuntz, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Andrew Read, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
Ina P. Robertson, Univ. of Kansas (United States)
Steve Sembay, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
David G. Sibeck, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Steve Snowden, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Timothy Stubbs, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Pavel Travnicek, Institute of Atmospheric Physics (Czech Republic)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7011:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Martin J. L. Turner; Kathryn A. Flanagan, Editor(s)

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