Modeling Charge Exchange Collisions in Astrophysical Spectra
Renata Cumbee
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Interest in astrophysical sources of charge exchange (CX) has grown following the first observation of X-ray emission in comet Huakutake in 1996. Further studies proved that this emission was primarily due to charge exchange collisions between neutrals in the cometary coma and ions from the solar wind. CX has since been observed throughout our solar system such as in the atmospheres of Mars and Jupiter. Additionally, observations from starburst galaxies, supernova remnants, and even the Perseus Cluster have hinted at the possibility of charge exchange. Studies of these regions have thus far been limited by simplified models that do not fully account for the various ionization stages and/or neutral species present in CX spectra, or their relative collisional velocities. With high-resolution observations made available by future X-ray missions such as XRISM and Athena, highly reliable CX models are necessary to interpret the contribution of CX in any spectrum. Here, I will briefly review various approaches for modeling charge exchange as well as the laboratory measurements that allow us to test the reliability of these models enabling better interpretation of future observations of CX.