Characterisation of the Particle-Induced Background of XMM-Newton EPIC-pn: Short and Long Term Variability

Kavli Affiliate: Catherine Grant

| First 5 Authors: Esra Bulbul, Ralph Kraft, Paul Nulsen, Michael Freyberg, Eric D. Miller

| Summary:

The particle-induced background of X-ray observatories is produced by
Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) primary protons, electrons, and He ions. Events due
to direct interaction with the detector are usually removed by on board
processing. The interactions of these primary particles with the detector
environment produce secondary particles that mimic X-ray events from celestial
sources and are much more difficult to identify. The filter wheel closed data
from the XMM-Newton EPIC-pn camera in small window mode (SWM) contains both the
X-ray-like background events and the events due to direct interactions with the
primary particles. From this data we demonstrate that X-ray-like background
events are spatially correlated with the primary particle interaction. This
result can be used to further characterise and reduce the non-X-ray background
in silicon-based X-ray detectors in current and future missions. We also show
that spectrum and pattern fractions of secondary particle events are different
from those produced by cosmic X-rays.

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