Measurements of Atomic Parameters of Highly Charged Ions for Interpreting Astrophysical Spectra

Brown, G. V.; Beiersdorfer, P.; Boyce, K. R.; Gendreau, K. C.; Gu, M. F.; Gygax, J.; Kahn, S. M.; Kelley, R.; Porter, F. S.; Savin, Daniel Wolf; Utter, S. B.

High-resolution X-ray spectra obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission put new demands on atomic data including line positions, excitation cross sections, and radiative rates of cosmically-abundant highly-charged ions. To address this need, we are performing measurements of the line emission from ions of cosmically abundant elements. The data are obtained at the LLNL Electron Beam Ion Trap and focus on cross sections for electron-impact excitation, dielectronic recombination, and resonance excitation as well as atomic structure measurements. We find that ratios of the electron-impact excitation cross sections of singlet and triplet levels are systematically different from the calculated values in the case of many highly charged ions. This, for example, has a profound impact on inferring optical depths from solar and stellar atmospheres. Moreover, new line identifications are presented that resolve some long-standing puzzles in the interpretation of solar data, and the importance of resonance contributions to the spectral emission is assessed.


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Astronomy and Astrophysics
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March 15, 2023