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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Physics (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Massimiliano Galeazzi - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Randall K. Smith - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Joshua Gundersen - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Manuel A. Huerta - Committee Member


The cosmic X-ray background was discovered at the dawn of the X-ray astronomy: during the first successful rocket flight launched to study the X-ray emission from the Moon, the presence of a residual diffuse emission was also "serendipitously" revealed. In the intervening decades, observations with improving angular and spectral resolution have enhanced our understanding of the components that make up this background. Above 1 keV, the emission is highly isotropic on large angular scales, has extragalactic origin, and about ~80 percent has been resolved into discrete sources (Mushotzky et al. 2000, Hasinger et al. 1998). Our current interpretation of the diffuse X-ray emission below 1 keV uses a combination of 5 components, solar wind charge exchange, Local Bubble, Galactic halo, intergalactic gas, and unresolved point sources. Resolving the different components is made particularly difficult by the similar spectral emission of most components, X-ray lines of heavily ionized metals, which are poorly resolved by the energy resolution of CCD cameras onboard current X-ray satellites with typical observing times. The goal of this investigation is to assess the integral emission of the major components of the diffuse Soft X-Ray Background. In the first part of my project, I analyzed the shadow observations performed with XMM-Newton and Suzaku X-ray observatories. Shadow observations offer a tool to separate the fore ground component, due to the Local Bubble and, possibly, charge exchange within the solar system, from the background component, due primarily to the Galactic Halo and unidentified point sources. In the second part of my project, I studied the contribution of unresolved point sources and intergalactic medium to the diffuse Soft X-ray Background.


High Energy Astrophysics; Diffuse X-ray Emission; X-ray Background