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The Solar Cycle Temporal Variation of the Solar Wind Charge Exchange X-Ray Lines

Abstract : Solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) is the primary contamination of soft X-ray emission lines from the Milky Way (MW) hot gas. We report a solar cycle (≈10 yr) temporal variation of observed O VII and O VIII emission line measurements in the XMM-Newton archive, which is tightly correlated with the solar cycle traced by the sunspot number (SSN). This temporal variation is expected to be associated with the heliospheric SWCX. Another observed correlation is that higher solar wind (SW) fluxes lead to higher O VII or O VIII fluxes, which is due to the magnetospheric SWCX. We construct an empirical model to reproduce the observed correlation between the line measurements and the solar activity (i.e., the SW flux and the SSN). With this model we discovered a lag of-+ 0.91 0.22 0.20 yr between the O VII flux and the SSN. This time lag is a combination of the SW transit time within the heliosphere, the lag of the neutral gas distribution responding to solar activity, and the intrinsic lag between the SSN and the launch of a high-energy SW (i.e., O 7+ and O 8+). MW O VII and O VIII fluxes have mean values of 5.4 L.U. and 1.7 L.U., which are reduced by 50% and 30%, compared to studies where the SWCX contamination is not removed. This correction also changes the determination of the density distribution and the temperature profile of the MW hot gas.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 6:42:12 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 3:48:52 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 6:54:52 PM

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Zhijie Qu, Dimitra Koutroumpa, Joel Bregman, Kip Kuntz, Philip Kaaret. The Solar Cycle Temporal Variation of the Solar Wind Charge Exchange X-Ray Lines. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2022, 930, 21 (9pp). ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac6349⟩. ⟨insu-03658360⟩

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