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Spectral evolution and polarization of variable structures in the pulsar wind nebula of PSR B0540-69.3
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
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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2011 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 413, no 1, 611-627 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present high spatial resolution optical imaging and polarization observations of the PSR B0540-69.3 and its highly dynamical pulsar wind nebula (PWN) performed with Hubble Space Telescope, and compare them with X-ray data obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In particular, we have studied the bright region south-west of the pulsar where a bright 'blob' is seen in 1999. In a recent paper by De Luca et al. it was argued that the 'blob' moves away from the pulsar at high speed. We show that it may instead be a result of local energy deposition around 1999, and that the emission from this then faded away rather than moved outward. Polarization data from 2007 show that the polarization properties show dramatic spatial variations at the 1999 blob position arguing for a local process. Several other positions along the pulsar-'blob' orientation show similar changes in polarization, indicating previous recent local energy depositions. In X-rays, the spectrum steepens away from the 'blob' position, faster orthogonal to the pulsar-'blob' direction than along this axis of orientation. This could indicate that the pulsar-'blob' orientation is an axis along where energy in the PWN is mainly injected, and that this is then mediated to the filaments in the PWN by shocks. We highlight this by constructing an [S ii]-to-[O iii]-ratio map, and comparing this to optical continuum and X-ray emission maps. We argue, through modelling, that the high [S ii]/[O iii] ratio is not due to time-dependent photoionization caused by possible rapid X-ray emission variations in the 'blob' region. We have also created a multiwavelength energy spectrum for the 'blob' position showing that one can, to within 2 Sigma, connect the optical and X-ray emission by a single power law. The slope of that power law (defined from <file name=mnr_18159_mu1.gif type=gif/>) would be alpha(nu) = 0.74 +/- 0.03, which is marginally different from the X-ray spectral slope alone with alpha(nu) = 0.65 +/- 0.03. A single power law for most of the PWN is, however, not be possible. We obtain best power-law fits for the X-ray spectrum if we include 'extra' oxygen, in addition to the oxygen column density in the interstellar gas of the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Milky Way. This oxygen is most naturally explained by the oxygen-rich ejecta of the supernova remnant. The oxygen needed likely places the progenitor mass in the 20-25 M(circle dot) range, i.e. in the upper mass range for progenitors of Type IIP supernovae.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 413, no 1, 611-627 p.
Keyword [en]
pulsars: individual: PSR B0540-69.3, supernovae: general, ISM: individual objects: SNR 0540-69.3, ISM: supernova remnants, Magellanic Clouds
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68538DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18159.xISI: 000289525000045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68538DiVA: diva2:472791
Note

authorCount :7

Available from: 2012-01-04 Created: 2012-01-04 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically 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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