An explanation of the galactic x-rays of fluctuating intensity, about 20 of which have been reported by balloon and rocket experiments since 1963. Hydromagnetic wave motions of the magnetic fields in the ionized gas of the galactic spiral arms create regions having fluctuating increases and decreases in gas pressure, magnetic fields, and size. In regions of sufficient compression, the gas becomes hot enough to emit x-rays. Two different calculation methods show such regions to be too small for observation by existing radio telescopes. Fluctuating x-ray sources should be abundant in the neighborhood of such disturbing phenomena as binary stars, globular clusters, nova and supernova explosions, high-velocity stars, and solar systems whose trajectories crisscross the galactic plane. 9 pp. Refs.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.