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eROSITA narrowband maps at the energies of soft X-ray emission lines

Xueying ZhengGabriele Ponti Nicola LocatelliJeremy Sanders ...+8 Michael C.H. Yeung
Jan 2024
[abridged] Hot plasma plays a crucial role in regulating the baryon cycle within the Milky Way, flowing from the energetic sources in the Galactic center and disc, to the corona and the halo Taking advantage of the Spectrum Roentgen Gamma (SRG)/eROSITA first all-sky survey, in this work we aim to provide a panoramic view of the hot circumgalactic medium (CGM) of the Milky Way. The energy resolution of eROSITA enables us to map, for the first time, the sky within the narrow energy bands characteristic of soft X-ray emission lines. We present the eROSITA eRASS1 half sky maps in narrow energy bands corresponding to the most prominent soft X-ray lines: O VII and O VIII, which allow us to constrain the distribution of the hot plasma within and surrounding the Milky Way. We removed the expected contribution associated with the cosmic X-ray background, the time-variable solar wind charge exchange, the local hot bubble and foreground absorption. We use the line ratio of the oxygen lines as a proxy to constrain the temperature of the warm-hot CGM and we define a pseudo-temperature $\mathcal{T}$ map. The map highlights how different regions are dominated by different thermal components. Towards the outer halo, the temperature distribution of the CGM is consistent with being constant ($\Delta \mathcal{T} / \langle \mathcal{T}\rangle) \leq 4\%$) on angular scales of 2-20 deg, while significant variations $\sim 12\%$ are observed on many tens of degrees scales, when comparing the northern and southern hemisphere. The pseudo-temperature map shows significant variations across the borders of the eROSITA bubbles, therefore suggesting temperature variations, possibly linked to shocks, between the interior of the Galactic outflow and the unperturbed CGM. In particular, a "shell" of colder material appears to be present close to the edge of the eROSITA bubbles.
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