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Optical identification of the 3C 58 pulsar wind nebula
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
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2008 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 486, no 1, 273-282 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: The Crab-like supernova remnant 3C 58 contains the young pulsar PSR J0295+6449, which powers a radio plerion and a compact torus-like pulsar wind nebula visible in X-rays. Aims: We have performed deep optical imaging of the 3C 58 field to detect the optical counterpart of the pulsar and its wind nebula. Methods: The imaging was carried out with the Nordic Optical Telescope. We also analyzed the archival images of the field obtained with the Chandra/ACIS-S and HRC-S in X-rays and with the Spitzer/IRAC in the mid-infrared. Results: We detect a faint extended elliptical optical object with B=24.06 m ± 0.08 and V=23.11 m ± 0.04, whose center and peak brightness position are consistent at the sub-arcsecond level with the position of the pulsar. The morphology of the object and the orientation of its major axis are in excellent agreement with the torus region of the pulsar wind nebula seen almost edge on in the X-rays, although its extension is only about a half of what is in X-rays. This suggests that in the optical we see only the brightest central part of the torus nebula with the pulsar. The position and morphology of the object are also practically identical to the counterpart of the torus region recently detected in the mid-infrared bands. We do not resolve any point-like source within the nebula that could be identified with the pulsar and estimate that the contribution of the pulsar to the observed optical flux is ⪉10%. Using the archival Chandra/ACIS-S data we analyzed the spectrum of the pulsar+nebula X-ray emission extracted from the spatial region constrained by the optical/infrared source position and extent and find that a single absorbed power law provides an acceptable spectral fit. Combining this fit with the optical and infrared fluxes of the detected candidate torus nebula counterpart, we compile a tentative multi-wavelength spectrum of the central part of the pulsar nebula. Within the uncertainties of the interstellar extinction towards 3C 58, it is reminiscent of either the Crab or PSR B0540-69 pulsar wind nebula spectra. Conclusions: The position, morphology, and spectral properties of the detected source strongly suggest that it is the optical/mid-infrared counterpart of the 3C 58 pulsar + its wind nebula system. This makes 3C 58 the third member, together with the Crab and PSR B0540-69, of such a system as identified in the optical and mid-infrared.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 486, no 1, 273-282 p.
Keyword [en]
ISM: supernova remnants, stars: pulsars: individual: 3C 58, stars: neutron
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-18313DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200809573OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-18313DiVA: diva2:184836
Available from: 2009-01-25 Created: 2009-01-25 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Supernova remnants and their pulsar wind nebulae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supernova remnants and their pulsar wind nebulae
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Massive stars die in powerful stellar explosions, so-called supernovae. In most cases, a neutron star or a black hole is expected to form in the center. The ejected material in these explosions expands out into the surroundings for tens of thousands of years, forming a supernova remnant. If a rapidly rotating neutron star, i.e. pulsar, has been created in the center, a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) will form around it. This thesis focuses mainly on the composite supernova remnant SNR B0540-69.3, as well as the pulsar\psr. This object has a dynamical PWN for which detailed observations have been done using various ground-based and space-borne telescopes. The thesis also includes a detailed study of the Crab-like supernova remnant 3C 58, which allowed us to detect optical emission from the pulsar+PWN system. This made it become the third PWN, after the Crab nebula and the 0540 PWN, to be seen in the optical.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2012. 44 p.
Keyword
pulsars, supernovae, ISM
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79103 (URN)978-91-7447-466-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-24, FA32, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Available from: 2012-09-03 Created: 2012-08-27 Last updated: 2012-09-03Bibliographically approved

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