Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Physics (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Massimiliano Galeazzi

Second Committee Member

Joshua Gundersen

Third Committee Member

Manuel Huerta

Fourth Committee Member

Frederick S. Porter


DXL (Diffuse X-rays from the Local galaxy) is a sounding rocket mission to quantify the Solar Wind Charge Exchange (SWCX) X-ray emission in the interplanetary medium, and separate its contribution from the Local Hot Bubble (LHB) emission. The first launch of DXL took place in December 2012. This thesis will describe the DXL instrumentation and calibrations, and discuss the results obtained. The mission uses two large area proportional counters to scan through the Helium Focusing Cone (HFC), a high helium density region in the solar system emitting excess X-rays due to SWCX. Using well determined models of the interplanetary neutral distribution and comparing the DXL results with data from the same region obtained by the ROSAT satellite away from the cone, we calculated that SWCX contributes at most 36% to the ¼ keV ROSAT band and 13% to the ¾ keV ROSAT band, in the galactic plane. This provides a firm proof for existence of a LHB which dominates the Diffuse X-ray Background (DXB) at ¼ keV, while raising new questions on the origin of the ¾ keV emission.


Solar Wind Charge Exchange; Local Hot Bubble; Diffuse X-ray Background; DXL