Status Report

Feasibility of Observing Gamma-ray Polarization from Cygnus X-1 Using a CubeSat

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2019
Filed under , ,

Chien-Ying Yang, Yi-Chi Chang, Hung-Hsiang Liang, Che-Yen Chu, Jeng-Lun Chiu, Chih-Hsun Lin, Philippe Laurent, Jerome Rodriguez, Hsiang-Kuang Chang

(Submitted on 29 Nov 2019)

Instruments own on CubeSats are small. Meaningful applications of CubeSats in astronomical observations rely on the choice of a particular subject that is feasible for CubeSats. Here we report the result of a feasibility study for observing gamma-ray polarization from Cygnus X-1 using a small Compton polarimeter on board a 3U CubeSat. Silicon detectors and cerium bromide scintillators were employed in the instrument models that we discussed in this study. Through Monte Carlo simulations with Geant4-based MEGALib package, we found that, with 10-Ms observation time in a low earth orbit, the minimum detectable polarization degree can be lower than 10% in 100 – 250 keV, 20% in 250 – 400 keV, and 65% in 400 – 2000 keV, if the instrument trigger energy threshold is set at 40 keV. A 3U CubeSat dedicated to observing Cygnus X-1 can therefore yield useful information on the polarization state of gamma-ray emissions from the brightest persistent X-ray black-hole binary in the sky.

Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures, submitted to Astronomical Journal

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Physics – Experiment (hep-ex)

Cite as: arXiv:1911.12958 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1911.12958v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Hsiang-Kuang ChangĀ 

[v1] Fri, 29 Nov 2019 05:59:07 UTC (1,175 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1911.12958

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