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Sample records for crab nebula supernova

  1. Evolution of the Crab Nebula in a Low Energy Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Haifeng; Chevalier, Roger A.

    2015-06-01

    The nature of the supernova leading to the Crab Nebula has long been controversial because of the low energy that is present in the observed nebula. One possibility is that there is significant energy in extended fast material around the Crab but searches for such material have not led to detections. An electron capture supernova model can plausibly account for the low energy and the observed abundances in the Crab. Here, we examine the evolution of the Crab pulsar wind nebula inside a freely expanding supernova and find that the observed properties are most consistent with a low energy event. Both the velocity and radius of the shell material, and the amount of gas swept up by the pulsar wind point to a low explosion energy (∼1050 erg). We do not favor a model in which circumstellar interaction powers the supernova luminosity near maximum light because the required mass would limit the freely expanding ejecta.

  2. Fluid dynamics nature of supernova remnant (Crab Nebula)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estakhr, Ahmad Reza

    2015-04-01

    Supernova remnant (at early phase) is a high temperature fluid of gas and dust. after the explosion of a star in a supernova, the viscousity of supernova remnant changes with temperature. as supernova expand by time its temperature decreases and the viscousity increases, (or alternatively, the fluidity of supernova remnant tends to decreases) and leb to resistance phase of supernova remnant fluid to flow. Uμ = γ (c , u (r-> , t)) denotes four-velocity vector field of supernova. Jμ = ρUμ denotes four-current density of supernova fluid of gas and dust. Estakhr's Material-Geodesic equation is developed analogy of Navier Stokes equation and Einstein Geodesic equation to describe Fluid dynamics nature of supernova remnant (Crab Nebula): DJμ/Dτ =dJμ/Dτ + ΓαβμJαUβ =JνΩμν +∂νTμν + ΓαβμJαUβ Covariant formulation of Fluid dynamics nature of supernova remnant, describe the motion of fluid substances of supernova.

  3. The Hubble Heritage Image of the Crab Nebula Supernova Remnant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blair, W. P.; English, J.; Bond, H. E.; Christian, C. A.; Frattare, L.; Hamilton, F.; Levay, Z.; Noll, K. S.

    2000-05-01

    The Hubble Heritage Project has the aim of providing the public with pictorially striking images of celestial objects obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Here we present a 5-color Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) image of the Crab Nebula, a ~950 year old supernova remnant located 6500 light-years distant in the constellation Taurus. The images were obtained in 1995 January and April, and the science investigation reporting results was published by Blair, W. P., et al. (1997, ApJS, 109, 473--480). Over 10 hours of exposure time through 5 separate optical continuum band and emission-line filters were used to study size scales and ionization structures of the filaments and newly synthesized dust within the expanding ejecta. The Heritage version of these data shows several important aspects of the Crab Nebula all in one spectacular image. The continuum image shows stars, including the enigmatic pulsar (the collapsed core of the original star) and the ghostly diffuse synchrotron nebula energized by the pulsar. The synchrotron nebula in turn heats and ionizes the surrounding clumpy filaments of gas and dust visible in the emission line images. These filaments are the supernova ejecta that were expelled during the explosion and are now expanding outward from the pulsar at high speed. The different colors in the picture show optical emission lines of hydrogen (orange), nitrogen (red), sulfur (pink) and oxygen (bluish-green). The subtle changes in color from one filament to the next arise because of varying temperatures and densities of the gas, and variable chemical abundances of the ``star stuff," or the doppler shifting of emission into or out of the various narrow filter bandpasses. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant numbers GO-07632.01-96A and GO-5354.04-93A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  4. The Crab Nebula and related supernova remnants; Proceedings of the Workshop, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, October 11, 12, 1984

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafatos, M. C.; Henry, R. B. C.

    Papers are presented on the Crab Nebula's composition, helium distribution, outer structure and jet, and evolution. Attention is given to line emission from supernova remnants and charge transfer reactions, a magnetohydrodynamic model of the Crab Nebula and its radiation, inferences made using data on the pulsed flux from the crab pulsar, a new interpretation of the crab pulsar X-ray interpulse radiation, and evolutionary models of the Crab Nebula's progenitor. Other topics include the evolution of the centimeter flux of 3C58 and the Crab Nebula, a search for a shock wave around the Crab Nebula, high resolution radio studies of the Crab Nebula, supernova shell structure, and the nature of the remnant 0540-693 and its implications for the study of crablike remnants. Papers are also presented on X-ray observations of: Crab-like remnants, the Crab Nebula, the Vela X region, W28, and 3C400.2. Other papers include the 50 millisecond pulsar in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the X-ray pulse emission mechanism, optical emission from the plerionic core of CTB 80, and one-arcminute resolution observations of W50.

  5. The Crab Nebula and related supernova remnants; Proceedings of the Workshop, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, October 11, 12, 1984

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kafatos, M. C. (Editor); Henry, R. B. C. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    Papers are presented on the Crab Nebula's composition, helium distribution, outer structure and jet, and evolution. Attention is given to line emission from supernova remnants and charge transfer reactions, a magnetohydrodynamic model of the Crab Nebula and its radiation, inferences made using data on the pulsed flux from the crab pulsar, a new interpretation of the crab pulsar X-ray interpulse radiation, and evolutionary models of the Crab Nebula's progenitor. Other topics include the evolution of the centimeter flux of 3C58 and the Crab Nebula, a search for a shock wave around the Crab Nebula, high resolution radio studies of the Crab Nebula, supernova shell structure, and the nature of the remnant 0540-693 and its implications for the study of crablike remnants. Papers are also presented on X-ray observations of: Crab-like remnants, the Crab Nebula, the Vela X region, W28, and 3C400.2. Other papers include the 50 millisecond pulsar in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the X-ray pulse emission mechanism, optical emission from the plerionic core of CTB 80, and one-arcminute resolution observations of W50.

  6. The origin of the Crab Nebula and the electron capture supernova in 8-10 M solar mass stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nomoto, K.

    1981-01-01

    The chemical composition of the Crab Nebula is compared with several presupernova models. The small carbon and oxygen abundances in the helium-rich nebula are consistent with only the presupernova model of the star whose main sequence mass was MMS approximately 8-9.5 M. More massive stars contain too much carbon in the helium layer and smaller mass stars do not leave neutron stars. The progenitor star of the Crab Nebula lost appreciable part of the hydrogen-rich envelope before the hydrogen-rich and helium layers were mixed by convection. Finally it exploded as the electron capture supernova; the O+Ne+Mg core collapsed to form a neutron star and only the extended helium-rich envelope was ejected by the weak shock wave.

  7. Observations of discrete gamma ray sources with SAS-2. [compact sources centered on Crab nebula and Vela X supernova remnant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, D. J.; Fichtel, C. E.; Hartman, R. C.; Kniffen, D. A.; Bignami, G. F.

    1974-01-01

    Compact gamma ray sources centered on the Crab nebula and the Vela X supernova remnant are considered. An excess in the galactic radiation was observed in both regions. Data indicate that a large fraction of this flux is pulsed. The excess from the Vela region could reflect either a large-scale galactic feature, such as a superposition of spiral arm segments, or it could be associated with the Vela supernova remnant. Low-energy gamma ray bursts were observed in the SAS-2 anticoincidence shielding.

  8. HUBBLE CAPTURES DYNAMICS OF CRAB NEBULA (color)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A new sequence of Hubble Space Telescope images of the remnant of a tremendous stellar explosion is giving astronomers a remarkable look at the dynamic relationship between the tiny Crab Pulsar and the vast nebula that it powers. This colorful photo shows a ground-based image of the entire Crab Nebula, the remnant of a supernova explosion witnessed over 900 years ago. The nebula, which is 10 light-years across, is located 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. The green, yellow and red filaments concentrated toward the edges of the nebula are remnants of the star that were ejected into space by the explosion. At the center of the Crab Nebula lies the Crab Pulsar -- the collapsed core of the exploded star. The Crab Pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star -- an object only about six miles across, but containing more mass than our Sun. As it rotates at a rate of 30 times per second the Crab Pulsar's powerful magnetic field sweeps around, accelerating particles, and whipping them out into the nebula at speeds close to that of light. The blue glow in the inner part of the nebula -- light emitted by energetic electrons as they spiral through the Crab's magnetic field -- is powered by the Crab Pulsar. Credit: Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA

  9. The Crab Nebula: A Flickering X-ray Candle

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Crab Nebula, created by a supernova seen nearly a thousand years ago, is one of the sky's most famous "star wrecks." For decades, most astronomers have regarded it as the steadiest beacon at X-...

  10. The Great Crab Nebula Superflare

    NASA Video Gallery

    There are strange goings-on in the Crab Nebula. On April 12, 2011, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected the most powerful in a series of gamma-ray flares occurring somewhere within the s...

  11. The Crab nebula and the class of Type IIn-P supernovae caused by sub-energetic electron-capture explosions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Nathan

    2013-09-01

    What sort of supernova (SN) gave rise to the Crab nebula? While there are several indications that the Crab arose from a sub-energetic explosion of an 8-10 M⊙ progenitor star, this would appear to conflict with the high luminosity indicated by historical observations. This paper shows that several well-known observed properties of the Crab and SN 1054 are well matched by a particular breed of Type IIn SN. The Crab's properties are best suited to the Type IIn-P subclass (Type IIn spectra with plateau light curves), exemplified by SNe 1994W, 2009kn and 2011ht. These events probably arise from relatively low energy (1050 erg) explosions with low 56Ni yield that may result from electron-capture SN (ecSN) explosions, but their high visual-wavelength luminosity and Type IIn spectra are dominated by shock interaction with dense circumstellar material (CSM) rather than the usual recombination photosphere. In this interaction, a large fraction of the 1050 erg of the total kinetic energy can be converted to visual-wavelength luminosity. After about 120 d, nearly all of the mass outside the neutron star in the CSM and ejecta ends up in a slowly expanding (1000-1500 km s-1) thin dense shell, which is then accelerated and fragmented by the growing pulsar wind nebula in the subsequent 1000 yr, producing the complex network of filaments seen today. There is no need to invoke the extended, invisible fast SN envelope hypothesized to reside outside the Crab. As differentiated from a normal SN II-P, SNe IIn-P provide a much better explanation for several observed features of the Crab: (1) no blast wave outside the Crab nebula filaments, (2) no rapidly expanding SN envelope outside the filaments, (3) a total mass of ˜5 M⊙ swept up in a thin slow shell, (4) a low kinetic energy of the Crab at least an order of magnitude below a normal core-collapse SN, (5) a high peak luminosity (-18 mag) despite the low kinetic energy, (6) chemical abundances consistent with an 8-10 M⊙ star and

  12. THE IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICAL MODELS FOR DERIVING DUST MASSES AND GRAIN SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS IN SUPERNOVA EJECTA. I. RADIATIVELY HEATED DUST IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Temim, Tea; Dwek, Eli

    2013-09-01

    Recent far-infrared (IR) observations of supernova remnants (SNRs) have revealed significantly large amounts of newly condensed dust in their ejecta, comparable to the total mass of available refractory elements. The dust masses derived from these observations assume that all the grains of a given species radiate at the same temperature, regardless of the dust heating mechanism or grain radius. In this paper, we derive the dust mass in the ejecta of the Crab Nebula, using a physical model for the heating and radiation from the dust. We adopt a power-law distribution of grain sizes and two different dust compositions (silicates and amorphous carbon), and calculate the heating rate of each dust grain by the radiation from the pulsar wind nebula. We find that the grains attain a continuous range of temperatures, depending on their size and composition. The total mass derived from the best-fit models to the observed IR spectrum is 0.019-0.13 M{sub Sun }, depending on the assumed grain composition. We find that the power-law size distribution of dust grains is characterized by a power-law index of 3.5-4.0 and a maximum grain size larger than 0.1 {mu}m. The grain sizes and composition are consistent with what is expected for dust grains formed in a Type IIP supernova (SN). Our derived dust mass is at least a factor of two less than the mass reported in previous studies of the Crab Nebula that assumed more simplified two-temperature models. These models also require a larger mass of refractory elements to be locked up in dust than was likely available in the ejecta. The results of this study show that a physical model resulting in a realistic distribution of dust temperatures can constrain the dust properties and affect the derived dust masses. Our study may also have important implications for deriving grain properties and mass estimates in other SNRs and for the ultimate question of whether SNe are major sources of dust in the Galactic interstellar medium and in

  13. The Importance of Physical Models for Deriving Dust Masses and Grain Size Distributions in Supernova Ejecta. I. Radiatively Heated Dust in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Temim, Tea; Dwek, Eli

    2013-01-01

    Recent far-infrared (IR) observations of supernova remnants (SNRs) have revealed significantly large amounts of newly condensed dust in their ejecta, comparable to the total mass of available refractory elements. The dust masses derived from these observations assume that all the grains of a given species radiate at the same temperature, regardless of the dust heating mechanism or grain radius. In this paper, we derive the dust mass in the ejecta of the Crab Nebula, using a physical model for the heating and radiation from the dust. We adopt a power-law distribution of grain sizes and two different dust compositions (silicates and amorphous carbon), and calculate the heating rate of each dust grain by the radiation from the pulsar wind nebula. We find that the grains attain a continuous range of temperatures, depending on their size and composition. The total mass derived from the best-fit models to the observed IR spectrum is 0.019-0.13 Solar Mass, depending on the assumed grain composition. We find that the power-law size distribution of dust grains is characterized by a power-law index of 3.5-4.0 and a maximum grain size larger than 0.1 micron. The grain sizes and composition are consistent with what is expected for dust grains formed in a Type IIP supernova (SN). Our derived dust mass is at least a factor of two less than the mass reported in previous studies of the Crab Nebula that assumed more simplified two-temperature models. These models also require a larger mass of refractory elements to be locked up in dust than was likely available in the ejecta. The results of this study show that a physical model resulting in a realistic distribution of dust temperatures can constrain the dust properties and affect the derived dust masses. Our study may also have important implications for deriving grain properties and mass estimates in other SNRs and for the ultimate question of whether SNe are major sources of dust in the Galactic interstellar medium and in

  14. The Crab Nebula: The gift that keeps on giving

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hester, J. Jeff

    2001-05-01

    In many ways the Crab Nebula is the object that started off the study of supernova remnants, yet hundreds of years after its discovery it is still poorly understood in many respects. Recently, a number of observational and theoretical results have shed new light on longstanding questions and misconceptions about the Crab. We are taught in graduate school that the Crab is a freely expanding ejecta-dominated remnant, with the slight added complication that it contains a pulsar and synchrotron nebula. This conception of the Crab is incorrect. Instead, when we think of the Crab we should think first of the powerful and dynamic axisymmetric wind from an energetic pulsar as it powers a high pressure synchrotron nebula. That synchrotron nebula is sweeping up and concentrating thermal ejecta into dense, complex Rayleigh-Taylor filaments as it pushes its way out through a large, freely expanding remnant. This larger remnant is all but unseen, but probably carries the bulk of the mass and kinetic energy from the explosion. Every aspect of the visible Crab-from its overall size and shape, to the complex structure of its filaments, to the highly dynamical structure at its heart-is a direct result of the action of the wind from the Crab pulsar. .

  15. Super-Acceleration in the Flaring Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavani, Marco

    2013-10-01

    The Crab Nebula continues to surprise us. The Crab system (energized by a very powerful pulsar at the center of the Supernova Remnant SN1054) is known to be a very efficient particle "accelerator" which can reach PeV energies. Today, new surprising data concerning the gamma-ray flares produced by the Crab Nebula challenge models of particle acceleration. The total energy flux from the Crab has been considered for many decades substantially stable at X-ray and gamma-ray energies. However, this paradigm was shattered by the AGILE discovery and Fermi confirmation in September 2010 of transient gamma-ray emission from the Crab. Indeed, we can state that four major flaring gamma-ray episodes have been detected by AGILE and Fermi during the period mid-2007/2012. During these events, transient particle acceleration occurs in a regime which apparently violates the MHD conditions and synchrotron cooling constraints. This fact justifies calling "super-acceleration" the mechanism which produces the "flaring Crab phenomenon". Radiation between 50 MeV and a few GeV is emitted with a quite hard spectrum within a short timescale (hours-days), with no obvious relation with simultaneous optical and X-ray emissions in the inner Nebula. "Super-acceleration" implies overcoming synchrotron cooling by strong (and "parallel") electric fields most likely produced by magnetic field reconnection within the pulsar wind outflow. This acceleration appears to be very efficient and, remarkably, limited by radiation reaction. It is not clear at the moment where in the Nebula this phenomenon occurs. An intense observational program is now focused on the Crab Nebula to resolve its most challenging mystery.

  16. Most Detailed Image of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This new Hubble image -- one among the largest ever produced with the Earth-orbiting observatory -- shows the most detailed view so far of the entire Crab Nebula ever made. The Crab is arguably the single most interesting object, as well as one of the most studied, in all of astronomy. The image is the largest image ever taken with Hubble's WFPC2 workhorse camera.

    The Crab Nebula is one of the most intricately structured and highly dynamical objects ever observed. The new Hubble image of the Crab was assembled from 24 individual exposures taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and is the highest resolution image of the entire Crab Nebula ever made.

  17. ELEMENT DISTRIBUTIONS IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Satterfield, Timothy J.; Katz, Andrea M.; Sibley, Adam R.; MacAlpine, Gordon M.; Uomoto, Alan

    2012-07-15

    Images of the Crab Nebula have been obtained through custom interference filters that transmit emission from the expanding supernova remnant in He II {lambda}4686, H{beta}, He I {lambda}5876, [O I] {lambda}{lambda}6300, 6364, [N II] {lambda}{lambda}6548, 6583, [S II] {lambda}{lambda}6716, 6731, [S III] {lambda}9069, and [C I] {lambda}{lambda}9823, 9850. We present both raw and flux-calibrated emission-line images. Arrays of 19,440 photoionization models, with extensive input abundance ranges, were matched pixel by pixel to the calibrated data in order to derive corresponding element abundance or mass-fraction distributions for helium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. These maps show distinctive structure, and they illustrate regions of gas in which various stages of nucleosynthesis have apparently occurred, including the CNO cycle, helium burning, carbon burning, and oxygen burning. It is hoped that the calibrated observations and chemical abundance distribution maps will be useful for developing a better understanding of the precursor star evolution and the supernova explosive process.

  18. Monitoring the Crab Nebula with LOFT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2012-01-01

    From 2008-2010, the Crab Nebula was found to decline by 7% in the 15-50 keV band, consistently in Fermi GBM, INTEGRAL IBIS, SPI, and JEMX, RXTE PCA, and Swift BAT. From 2001-2010, the 15-50 keV flux from the Crab Nebula typically varied by about 3.5% per year. Analysis of RXTE PCA data suggests possible spectral variations correlated with the flux variations. I will present estimates of the LOFT sensitivity to these variations. Prior to 2001 and since 2010, the observed flux variations have been much smaller. Monitoring the Crab with the LOFT WFM and LAD will provide precise measurements of flux variations in the Crab Nebula if it undergoes a similarly active episode.

  19. The ultraviolet spectrum of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, H. M.

    1972-01-01

    New observations of the Crab Nebula by OAO 2 stellar photometers are reported. Processed image data of the Crab give the logarithm of the integrated relative intensity per wavelength interval, corrected for sky background, and the rms error from 11 passbands in the ultraviolet range. The data are converted to logarithms of flux density per frequency interval and plotted on logarithmic scales with corrections for interstellar extinction.

  20. Search for excess showers from Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirov, I. N.; Stamenov, J. N.; Ushev, S. Z.; Janminchev, V. D.; Aseikin, V. S.; Nikolsky, S. I.; Nikolskaja, N. M.; Yakovlev, V. I.; Morozov, A. E.

    1985-01-01

    The arrival directions of muon poor showers registrated in the Tien Shan experiment during an effective running time about I,8.IO(4)h were analyzed. It is shown that there is a significant excess of these showers coming the direction of Crab Nebula.

  1. A shadowed flow in the stem of the Crab nebula?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, P.; Roberts, D.

    1985-01-01

    The faint radio and emission line 'jet' outward from the northern boundary of the Crab Nebula which appears as a neat right cylinder is modelled here as the convected margin of a gas cloud that accidentially cast its shallow across the nearly ballistic flow of the stellar envelope ejected in the supernova explosion. It is shown that this model is consistent with known data on the jet, and that it accounts for the strikingly regular geometrical features in a natural way. In contrast, flow instability models do not easily result in so neat a cylinder.

  2. X-rays from G74.9 + 1.2 - An elderly Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, A. S.

    1980-01-01

    The supernova remnant G74.9 + 1.2, which resembles the Crab Nebula in many of its radio properties, has been detected in 0.15-3 keV X-rays with the Imaging Proportional Counter on the Einstein Observatory. The intrinsic luminosity of the object is about 100 times weaker than the Crab Nebula in this band. The X-ray morphology is centrally brightened (not a shell) with a total extent about 5 arcmin (17 pc). The nearby, intense, compact radio source 2013 + 370 is also probably detected as an extended X-ray source. It is argued that G74.9 + 1.2 represents an object similar to the Crab Nebula but of age 4000-7000 years. If this is the case, the period of the pulsar or neutron star (whose loss of rotational energy fuels the nebula) is predicted to be 0.1-0.2 s.

  3. Modelling the kinked jet of the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignone, A.; Striani, E.; Tavani, M.; Ferrari, A.

    2013-12-01

    We investigate the dynamical propagation of the South-East jet from the Crab pulsar interacting with supernova ejecta by means of three-dimensional relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical simulations with the PLUTO code. The initial jet structure is set up from the inner regions of the Crab nebula. We study the evolution of hot, relativistic hollow outflows initially carrying a purely azimuthal magnetic field. Our jet models are characterized by different choices of the outflow magnetization (σ parameter) and the bulk Lorentz factor (γj). We show that the jet is heavily affected by the growth of current-driven kink instabilities causing considerable deflection throughout its propagation length. This behaviour is partially stabilized by the combined action of larger flow velocities and/or reduced magnetic field strengths. We find that our best jet models are characterized by relatively large values of σ (≳1) and small values of γj ≃ 2. Our results are in good agreement with the recent X-ray (Chandra) data of the Crab nebula South-East jet indicating that the jet changes direction of propagation on a time-scale of the order of few years. The 3D models presented here may have important implications in the investigation of particle acceleration in relativistic outflows.

  4. A HYPERSPECTRAL VIEW OF THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Charlebois, M.; Drissen, L.; Bernier, A.-P.; Grandmont, F.; Binette, L. E-mail: ldrissen@phy.ulaval.c

    2010-05-15

    We have obtained spatially resolved spectra of the Crab nebula in the spectral ranges 450-520 nm and 650-680 nm, encompassing the H{beta}, [O III] {lambda}4959, {lambda}5007, H{alpha}, [N II] {lambda}6548, {lambda}6584, and [S II] {lambda}6717, {lambda}6731 emission lines, with the imaging Fourier transform spectrometer SpIOMM at the Observatoire du Mont-Megantic's 1.6 m telescope. We first compare our data with published observations obtained either from a Fabry-Perot interferometer or from a long-slit spectrograph. Using a spectral deconvolution technique similar to the one developed by Cadez et al., we identify and resolve multiple emission lines separated by large Doppler shifts and contained within the rapidly expanding filamentary structure of the Crab. This allows us to measure important line ratios, such as [N II]/H{alpha}, [S II]/H{alpha}, and [S II] {lambda}6717 /[S II] {lambda}6731 of individual filaments, providing a new insight on the SE-NW asymmetry in the Crab. From our analysis of the spatial distribution of the electronic density and of the respective shocked versus photoionized gas components, we deduce that the skin-less NW region must have evolved faster than the rest of the nebula. Assuming a very simple expansion model for the ejecta material, our data provide us with a complete tridimensional view of the Crab.

  5. A Hyperspectral View of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charlebois, M.; Drissen, L.; Bernier, A.-P.; Grandmont, F.; Binette, L.

    2010-05-01

    We have obtained spatially resolved spectra of the Crab nebula in the spectral ranges 450-520 nm and 650-680 nm, encompassing the Hβ, [O III] λ4959, λ5007, Hα, [N II] λ6548, λ6584, and [S II] λ6717, λ6731 emission lines, with the imaging Fourier transform spectrometer SpIOMM at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic's 1.6 m telescope. We first compare our data with published observations obtained either from a Fabry-Perot interferometer or from a long-slit spectrograph. Using a spectral deconvolution technique similar to the one developed by Čadež et al., we identify and resolve multiple emission lines separated by large Doppler shifts and contained within the rapidly expanding filamentary structure of the Crab. This allows us to measure important line ratios, such as [N II]/Hα, [S II]/Hα, and [S II] λ6717 /[S II] λ6731 of individual filaments, providing a new insight on the SE-NW asymmetry in the Crab. From our analysis of the spatial distribution of the electronic density and of the respective shocked versus photoionized gas components, we deduce that the skin-less NW region must have evolved faster than the rest of the nebula. Assuming a very simple expansion model for the ejecta material, our data provide us with a complete tridimensional view of the Crab.

  6. HUBBLE CAPTURES DYNAMICS OF CRAB NEBULA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A new sequence of Hubble Space Telescope images of the remnant of a tremendous stellar explosion is giving astronomers a remarkable look at the dynamic relationship between the tiny Crab Pulsar and the vast nebula that it powers. This picture shows a Hubble Space Telescope image of the inner parts of the Crab. The pulsar itself is visible as the left of the pair of stars near the center of the frame. Surrounding the pulsar is a complex of sharp knots and wisp-like features. This image is one of a sequence of Hubble images taken over the course of several months. This sequence shows that the inner part of the Crab Nebula is far more dynamic than previously understood. The Crab literally 'changes it stripes' every few days as these wisps stream away from the pulsar at half the speed of light. The Hubble Space Telescope photo was taken Nov. 5, 1995 by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 at a wavelength of around 550 nanometers, in the middle of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Credit: Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA

  7. OBSERVATIONS OF THE CRAB NEBULA'S ASYMMETRICAL DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Loll, A. M.; Desch, S. J.; Scowen, P. A.; Foy, J. P.

    2013-03-10

    We present the first Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 imaging survey of the entire Crab Nebula, in the filters F502N ([O III] emission), F673N ([S II]), F631N ([O I]), and F547M (continuum). We use our mosaics to characterize the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) and its three-dimensional structure, the ionizational structure in the filaments forming at its periphery, the speed of the shock driven by the PWN into surrounding ejecta (by inferring the cooling rates behind the shock), and the morphology and ionizational structure of the Rayleigh-Taylor (R-T) fingers. We quantify a number of asymmetries between the northwest (NW) and southeast (SE) quadrants of the Crab Nebula. The lack of observed filaments in the NW, and our observations of the spatial extent of [O III] emission lead us to conclude that cooling rates are slower, and therefore the shock speeds are greater, in the NW quadrant of the nebula, compared with the SE. We conclude that R-T fingers are longer, more ionizationally stratified, and apparently more massive in the NW than in the SE, and the R-T instability appears more fully developed in the NW.

  8. a Surprise from the Pulsar in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-11-01

    New observations of the spectrum of the rapidly spinning neutron star (the `pulsar') in the Crab Nebula have been carried out with the ESO 3.5-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) by a group of Italian astronomers [1]. Because of greatly improved spectral resolution which allows to register even very fine details in the pulsar's spectrum, they are able to determine for the first time with high accuracy the overall dependance of the emission on wavelength, i.e. the `shape' of the spectrum. Quite unexpectedly, they also detect a hitherto unknown 100 A (10 nm) broad `absorption dip', which can be securely attributed to the pulsar. These results open an exciting new window for the study of the extreme physical processes close to a pulsar. The Nature of Pulsars It is estimated that there may be as many as 100 million neutron stars in our Galaxy. A neutron star is the superdense remnant of the extremely violent supernova explosion that occurs at the end of the life of a comparatively massive star. In fact, all stars that are more than about 6 times heavier than the Sun are believed to end their lives as supernovae. During the explosion, the central core of the dying star collapses in a few milliseconds and the matter at the centre is compressed to a density comparable to that of an atomic nucleus. Due to the enormous inward pressure, the atomic particles are squeezed together into a kind of neutron jam. The outcome is the formation of a neutron star with a diameter of 10-15 kilometres, weighing as much as the Sun. In accordance with the physical law that implies that the rotation momentum of the exploding star must be conserved, newborn neutron stars will rotate very rapidly around their axis, in some cases as fast as 100 times per second. In the same way, the new neutron star is expected to possess a strong magnetic field. Of these myriads of neutron stars, about 700 have been observed to emit radio pulses (hence the name `pulsar'). A few of these can also be detected

  9. Enhanced gamma-ray activity from the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buehler, R.; Ciprini, S.

    2016-01-01

    Preliminary LAT analysis indicates enhanced gamma-ray activity from the Crab nebula. The daily-averaged gamma-ray emission (E > 100 MeV) from the direction of the Crab Nebula has surpassed 4.0 x 10^-6 ph cm^-2 s^-1 five times in the last 12 days.

  10. The ultraviolet spectrum of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, K.; Gull, T. R.; Maran, S. P.; Stecher, T. P.; Fesen, R. A.; Parise, R. A.; Harvel, C. A.; Kafatos, M.; Trimble, V. L.

    1982-01-01

    Ultraviolet spectroscopy of the Crab Nebula done by the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite is described, and an estimate of the carbon abundance is made, noting data reduction to remove spectral defects caused by radiation hits. The important C IV 1549, He II 1640, and semiforbidden C III 1908 emission line intensities were measured and upper limits placed on other ultraviolet features for the brightest filamentary region in the Nebula. The emission lines imply an average ionic abundance ratio n(C+2)/n(O+2) in the range from 0.4 to 1.5 in the observed gaseous condensations. The elemental abundance ratio of carbon to oxygen is probably in the same range. Analysis shows that there is no perceptible excess of carbon due to presupernova nucleosynthesis in the observed region. The large helium abundance, small carbon and oxygen abundances, and presence of a neutron star in the Crab Nebula suggest that the presupernova star had a mass close to eight solar masses.

  11. Properties and Spatial Distribution of Dust Emission in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sonneborn, G.; Temim, T.; Dwek, E.; Arendt, R.; Gehrz, R.; Slane, P.

    2011-01-01

    The nature and quantity of dust produced in supernovae (SNe) is still poorly understood. Recent IR observations of freshly-formed dust in supernova remnants (SNRs) have yielded significantly lower dust masses than predicted by theoretical models and observations high-redshift galaxies. The Crab Nebula's pulsar wind is thought to be sweeping up freshly-formed SN dust along with the SN ejecta. The evidence for this dust was found in the form of an IR bump in the integrated spectrum of the Crab and in extinction against the synchrotron nebula that revealed the presence of dust in the filament cores. We present the first spatially-resolved emission spectra of dust in the Crab Nebula acquired with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The IR spectra are dominated by synchrotron emission and show forbidden line emission from both sides of the expanding nebula, including emission from [S III], [Si II], [Ne II], [Ne III], [Ne V], [Ar III], [Ar V], [Fe II], and [Ni II]. We extrapolated a synchrotron spectral data cube from the Spitzer 3.6 and 4.5 micron images, and subtracted this contribution from our 15-40 micron spectral data to produce a map of the residual continuum emission from dust. The emission appears to be concentrated along the ejecta filaments and is well described by astronomical silicates at an average temperature of 65 K. The estimated mass of dust in the Crab Nebula is 0.008 solar masses.

  12. The Dust and Gas Content of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, P. J.; Barlow, M. J.

    2015-03-01

    We have constructed mocassin photoionization plus dust radiative transfer models for the Crab Nebula core-collapse supernova (CCSN) remnant, using either smooth or clumped mass distributions, in order to determine the chemical composition and masses of the nebular gas and dust. We computed models for several different geometries suggested for the nebular matter distribution but found that the observed gas and dust spectra are relatively insensitive to these geometries, being determined mainly by the spectrum of the pulsar wind nebula which ionizes and heats the nebula. Smooth distribution models are ruled out since they require 16-49 M ⊙ of gas to fit the integrated optical nebular line fluxes, whereas our clumped models require 7.0 M ⊙ of gas. A global gas-phase C/O ratio of 1.65 by number is derived, along with a He/H number ratio of 1.85, neither of which can be matched by current CCSN yield predictions. A carbonaceous dust composition is favored by the observed gas-phase C/O ratio: amorphous carbon clumped model fits to the Crab’s Herschel and Spitzer infrared spectral energy distribution imply the presence of 0.18-0.27 M ⊙ of dust, corresponding to a gas to dust mass ratio of 26-39. Mixed dust chemistry models can also be accommodated, comprising 0.11-0.13 M ⊙ of amorphous carbon and 0.39-0.47 M ⊙ of silicates. Power-law grain size distributions with mass distributions that are weighted toward the largest grain radii are derived, favoring their longer-term survival when they eventually interact with the interstellar medium. The total mass of gas plus dust in the Crab Nebula is 7.2 ± 0.5 M ⊙ , consistent with a progenitor star mass of ˜9 M ⊙ .

  13. Hot relativistic winds and the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujimura, F. S.; Kennel, C. F.

    1981-01-01

    Efforts to formulate a self-consistent model of pulsar magnetospheres which links the particle source near the pulsar to the outflowing relativistic wind and couples the wind to the surrounding nebula are reviewed. The use of a relativistic MHD wind is recommended to account for global photon emission and the invisibility of the method of plasma transport. Consideration of a magnetic monopole relativistic wind due to an axially symmetric aligned rotator is combined with calculations of the initial velocity of the wind to show that the flow velocity in such a model will never exceed Mach 1. Extending the solution to the case of a hot relativistic wind at supersonic speeds is noted to yield results consistent with observations of the Crab Nebula

  14. Detection of a Noble Gas Molecular Ion, 36ArH+, in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlow, M. J.; Swinyard, B. M.; Owen, P. J.; Cernicharo, J.; Gomez, H. L.; Ivison, R. J.; Krause, O.; Lim, T. L.; Matsuura, M.; Miller, S.; Olofsson, G.; Polehampton, E. T.

    2013-12-01

    Noble gas molecules have not hitherto been detected in space. From spectra obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory, we report the detection of emission in the 617.5- and 1234.6-gigahertz J = 1-0 and 2-1 rotational lines of 36ArH+ at several positions in the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant known to contain both molecular hydrogen and regions of enhanced ionized argon emission. Argon-36 is believed to have originated from explosive nucleosynthesis in massive stars during core-collapse supernova events. Its detection in the Crab Nebula, the product of such a supernova event, confirms this expectation. The likely excitation mechanism for the observed 36ArH+ emission lines is electron collisions in partially ionized regions with electron densities of a few hundred per centimeter cubed.

  15. Detection of a noble gas molecular ion, 36ArH+, in the Crab Nebula.

    PubMed

    Barlow, M J; Swinyard, B M; Owen, P J; Cernicharo, J; Gomez, H L; Ivison, R J; Krause, O; Lim, T L; Matsuura, M; Miller, S; Olofsson, G; Polehampton, E T

    2013-12-13

    Noble gas molecules have not hitherto been detected in space. From spectra obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory, we report the detection of emission in the 617.5- and 1234.6-gigahertz J = 1-0 and 2-1 rotational lines of (36)ArH(+) at several positions in the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant known to contain both molecular hydrogen and regions of enhanced ionized argon emission. Argon-36 is believed to have originated from explosive nucleosynthesis in massive stars during core-collapse supernova events. Its detection in the Crab Nebula, the product of such a supernova event, confirms this expectation. The likely excitation mechanism for the observed (36)ArH(+) emission lines is electron collisions in partially ionized regions with electron densities of a few hundred per centimeter cubed. PMID:24337290

  16. The inner knot of the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyutikov, Maxim; Komissarov, Serguei S.; Porth, Oliver

    2016-02-01

    We model the inner knot of the Crab nebula as a synchrotron emission coming from the non-spherical MHD termination shock of relativistic pulsar wind. The post-shock flow is mildly relativistic; as a result the Doppler beaming has a strong impact on the shock appearance. The model can reproduce the knot location, size, elongation, brightness distribution, luminosity and polarization provided the effective magnetization of the section of the pulsar wind producing the knot is low, σ ≤ 1. In the striped wind model, this implies that the striped zone is rather wide, with the magnetic inclination angle of the Crab pulsar ≥45°; this agrees with the previous model-dependent estimate based on the gamma-ray emission of the pulsar. We conclude that the tiny knot is indeed a bright spot on the surface of a quasi-stationary magnetic relativistic shock and that this shock is a site of efficient particle acceleration. On the other hand, the deduced low magnetization of the knot plasma implies that this is an unlikely site for the Crab's gamma-ray flares, if they are related to the fast relativistic magnetic reconnection events.

  17. Peering into the Heart of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In the year 1054 A.D., Chinese astronomers were startled by the appearance of a new star, so bright that it was visible in broad daylight for several weeks. Today, the Crab Nebula is visible at the site of the 'Guest Star.' Located about 6,500 light-years from Earth, the Crab Nebula is the remnant of a star that began its life with about 10 times the mass of our own Sun. Its life ended on July 4, 1054 when it exploded as a supernova. In this image, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has zoomed in on the center of the Crab to reveal its structure with unprecedented detail. The Crab Nebula data were obtained by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in 1995. Images taken with five different color filters have been combined to construct this new false-color picture. Resembling an abstract painting by Jackson Pollack, the image shows ragged shards of gas that are expanding away from the explosion site at over 3 million miles per hour. The core of the star has survived the explosion as a pulsar, visible in the Hubble image as the lower of the two moderately bright stars to the upper left of center. The pulsar is a neutron star that spins on its axis 30 times a second. It heats its surroundings, creating the ghostly diffuse bluish-green glowing gas cloud in its vicinity, including a blue arc just to its right. The colorful network of filaments is the material from the outer layers of the star that was expelled during the explosion. The picture is somewhat deceptive in that the filaments appear to be close to the pulsar. In reality, the yellowish green filaments toward the bottom of the image are closer to us, and approaching at some 300 miles per second. The orange and pink filaments toward the top of the picture include material behind the pulsar, rushing away from us at similar speeds. The various colors in the picture arise from different chemical elements in the expanding gas, including hydrogen (orange), nitrogen (red), sulfur (pink), and oxygen (green). The shades

  18. New expansion rate measurements of the Crab nebula in radio and optical

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bietenholz, M. F.; Nugent, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    We present new radio measurements of the expansion rate of the Crab nebula's synchrotron nebula over a ˜30-yr period. We find a convergence date for the radio synchrotron nebula of CE 1255 ± 27. We also re-evaluated the expansion rate of the optical-line-emitting filaments, and we show that the traditional estimates of their convergence date are slightly biased. Using an unbiased Bayesian analysis, we find a convergence date for the filaments of CE 1091 ± 34 (˜40 yr earlier than previous estimates). Our results show that both the synchrotron nebula and the optical-line-emitting filaments have been accelerated since the explosion in CE 1054, but that the synchrotron nebula has been relatively strongly accelerated, while the optical filaments have been only slightly accelerated. The finding that the synchrotron emission expands more rapidly than the filaments supports the picture that the latter are the result of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability at the interface between the pulsar-wind nebula and the surrounding freely expanding supernova ejecta, and rules out models where the pulsar-wind bubble is interacting directly with the pre-supernova wind of the Crab's progenitor.

  19. Observation of the Crab Pulsar and Nebula with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Grondin, M.-H.; Lemoine-Goumard, M.; Mazziotta, M. N.

    2010-03-26

    The Crab Pulsar and Nebula are the remnants of the explosion of the supernova SN1054, which was observed by Chinese astronomers. Previously detected by EGRET, the Crab Pulsar and Nebula have been extensively observed in the gamma-ray energy band by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard the Fermi satellite. The data collected by the LAT during its early operation stage have allowed a detailed measurement of the fluxes and of the energy spectra of both sources. The pulsar spectrum is consistent with the EGRET measurement in the region below 1 GeV and is well described by a power law with exponential cutoff at a few GeV. The nebula spectrum is well modeled by a sum of two power laws, identified respectively as the falling edge of the synchrotron and the rising edge of the inverse Compton components, and is in agreement with the observations from Earth-based telescopes.

  20. Hard X-ray structure of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Makishima, K.; Ogawara, Y.; Matsuoka, M.; Oda, M.; Miyamoto, S.; Pelling, R. M.; Peterson, L. E.; Paciesas, W. S.

    1981-01-01

    Two-dimensional maps of the Crab Nebula have been synthesized in 22-64 keV range through the modulation collimator experiment. The effective angular resolution is about 15-arcmin. The result indicates that the Crab morphology is strictly controlled by the pulsar.

  1. X-ray astronomy. [Crab Nebula, Cygnus Loop and the Perseus Cluster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novick, R.

    1975-01-01

    Various experiments in X-ray astronomy are described. The occurrence of lunar occultations of the Crab Nebula were utilized to determine the spatial distribution of X-ray emitting regions in the nebula. Study of the Cygnus Loop included a search for a central X-ray point source for the area and measurement of the energy spectrum of the flux from the supernova remnant. The X-ray morphology of the Perseus cluster of galaxies was studied. X-ray spectra of different points in the cluster were also obtained. In addition, the construction of a high resolution gas fluorescence proportional counter for application to X-ray astronomy is discussed.

  2. Future GLAST Observations of Supernova Remnants And Pulsar Wind Nebulae

    SciTech Connect

    Funk, S.; /KIPAC, Menlo Park

    2007-09-26

    Shell-type Supernova remnants (SNRs) have long been known to harbour a population of ultra-relativistic particles, accelerated in the Supernova shock wave by the mechanism of diffusive shock acceleration. Experimental evidence for the existence of electrons up to energies of 100 TeV was first provided by the detection of hard X-ray synchrotron emission as e.g. in the shell of the young SNR SN1006. Furthermore using theoretical arguments shell-type Supernova remnants have long been considered as the main accelerator of protons - Cosmic rays - in the Galaxy; definite proof of this process is however still missing. Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWN) - diffuse structures surrounding young pulsars - are another class of objects known to be a site of particle acceleration in the Galaxy, again through the detection of hard synchrotron X-rays such as in the Crab Nebula. Gamma-rays above 100 MeV provide a direct access to acceleration processes. The GLAST Large Area telescope (LAT) will be operating in the energy range between 30 MeV and 300 GeV and will provide excellent sensitivity, angular and energy resolution in a previously rather poorly explored energy band. We will describe prospects for the investigation of these Galactic particle accelerators with GLAST.

  3. The surprising Crab pulsar and its nebula: a review.

    PubMed

    Bühler, R; Blandford, R

    2014-06-01

    The Crab nebula and its pulsar (referred to together as 'the Crab') have historically played a central role in astrophysics. True to this legacy, several unique discoveries have been made recently. The Crab was found to emit gamma-ray pulsations up to energies of 400 GeV, beyond what was previously expected from pulsars. Strong gamma-ray flares, of durations of a few days, were discovered from within the nebula, while the source was previously expected to be stable in flux on these time scales. Here we review these intriguing and suggestive developments. In this context we give an overview of the observational properties of the Crab and our current understanding of pulsars and their nebulae. PMID:24913306

  4. The "Crab Phenomenon": the Mysterious Gamma-Ray Flares of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavani, Marco

    The Crab Nebula, the "Queen of Nebulae", is full of surprises. The inner Nebula is an exceptional accelerator capable of energizing electrons/positrons up to PeV energies. Until recently, ideal MHD-based models of the Nebula and of its accelerating sites appeared to be satisfactory in explaining the Crab average properties. Week-month variability of local "spots" of the inner Nebula detected in optical and X-rays was attributed to local instabilities of relativistic outflow. However, the overall X-ray/gamma-ray Nebular flux appeared to be essentially stable. This paradigm was dramatically shattered by the 2010 discovery by AGILE and the Fermi-LAT confirmation of transient gamma-ray emission from the Crab. Six major gamma-ray flares attributed to the Crab Nebula have been detected since 2008. A novel mechanism of particle acceleration is acting on very short timescales (hours), and is incompatible with ideal MHD models. Plasma instabilities and magnetic field reconnection producing runaway acceleration can be invoked, but the acceleration site and detailed mechanism are controversial. This "Crab phenomenon" has profound theoretical and observational impacts. We will discuss the current theoretical modeling of the Crab gamma-ray flares and the implications for relativistic jets and laboratory plasmas. In particular, we will review recent progress in 3D modelling of the "South-East jet" and of its instabilities that are candidate sites of flaring emission.

  5. A 3D kinematic study of the northern ejecta `jet' of the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Christine S.; Fesen, Robert A.

    2015-03-01

    We present moderate resolution [O III] λλ4959, 5007 line emission spectra of the Crab nebula's northern ejecta jet. These data along with an [O III] image of the Crab nebula were used to build three-dimensional kinematic maps of the jet and adjacent remnant nebulosity to better understand the jet's properties and thus its likely origin. We find the jet's systemic velocity to be +170 ± 15 km s-1 with radial velocities ranging from -190 to +480 km s-1. Our data indicate that the jet consists of thin filamentary walls (Vexp ≃ 40-75 km s-1), is virtually hollow in [O III] emission, and elliptical and funnel-like in shape rather than a straight cylindrical tube as previously thought. Examination of the Crab's 3D filamentary structure along the jet's base reveals a large and nearly emission-free opening in the remnant's thick outer ejecta shell. The jet's blueshifted and redshifted sides are surprisingly well defined and, like the jet's sharp western limb, appear radially aligned with the remnant's centre of expansion. These alignments, along with the opening in the nebula at the jet's base and proper motions indicating an expansion age in line with the 1054 supernova event, suggest a direct connection between the jet's formation and the Crab's radial expansion. While our analysis supports the scenario that the jet may simply represent the highest velocity material of the remnant's N-S bipolar expansion, the nature of this expansion asymmetry remains unclear.

  6. A New Color Image of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainscoat, R. J.; Kormendy, K.

    1997-03-01

    A new color image of the Crab Nebula is presented. This is a $2782 \\times 1904$ pixel mosaic of CCD frames taken through \\B\\ (blue), \\V\\ (green), and \\R\\ (red) filters; it was carefully color balanced so that the Sun would appear white. The resolution of the final image is approximately 0\\farcs8 FWHM. The technique by which this image was constructed is described, and some aspects of the structure of the Crab Nebula revealed by the image are discussed. We also discuss the weaknesses of this technique for producing ``true-color'' images, and describe how our image would differ from what the human eye might see in a very large wide-field telescope. The structure of the inner part of the synchrotron nebula is compared with recent high-resolution images from the {\\it Hubble Space Telescope\\/} and from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. (SECTION: Interstellar Medium and Nebulae)

  7. Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope observations of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hennessy, Gregory S.; O'Connell, Robert W.; Cheng, Kwang P.; Bohlin, Ralph C.; Collins, Nicholas R.; Gull, Theodore P.; Hintzen, Paul; Isensee, Joan E.; Landsman, Wayne B.; Roberts, Morton S.

    1992-01-01

    We obtained ultraviolet images of the Crab Nebula with the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope during the Astro-1 Space Shuttle mission in 1990 December. The UV continuum morphology of the Crab is generally similar to that in the optical region, but the wispy structures are less conspicuous in the UV and X-ray. UV line emission from the thermal filaments is not strong. UV spectral index maps with a resolution of 10 arcsecs show a significant gradient across the nebula, with the outer parts being redder, as expected from synchrotron losses. The location of the bluest synchrotron continuum does not coincide with the pulsar.

  8. Detection of X-ray polarization of the Crab Nebula.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novick, R.; Weisskopf, M. C.; Berthelsdorf, R.; Linke, R.; Wolff, R. S.

    1972-01-01

    Two different types of X-ray polarimeters were used in a sounding rocket to search for X-ray polarization of the Crab Nebula. Polarization was detected at a statistical confidence level of 99.7%. If the X-ray polarization is assumed to be independent of energy, the results of this and a previous experiment lead to a polarization of 15.4 (plus or minus 5.2) percent at a position angle of 156 (plus or minus 10) deg. This result confirms the synchrotron model for X-ray emission from the Crab Nebula.

  9. Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope observations of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hennessy, Gregory S.; O'Connell, Robert W.; Cheng, Kwang P.; Bohlin, Ralph C.; Collins, Nicholas R.; Gull, Theodore R.; Hintzen, Paul; Isensee, Joan E.; Landsman, Wayne B.; Roberts, Morton S.; Smith, Andrew M.; Smith, Eric P.; Stecher, Theodore P.

    1992-08-01

    We obtained ultraviolet images of the Crab Nebula with the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope during the Astro-1 Space Shuttle mission in 1990 December. The UV continuum morphology of the Crab is generally similar to that in the optical region, but the wispy structures are less conspicuous in the UV and X-ray. UV line emission from the thermal filaments is not strong. UV spectral index maps with a resolution of 10 arcsecs show a significant gradient across the nebula, with the outer parts being redder, as expected from synchrotron losses. The location of the bluest synchrotron continuum does not coincide with the pulsar.

  10. Preliminary report on IUE spectra of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, K.; Gull, T. R.; Maran, S. P.; Stecher, T. P.; Kafatos, M.; Trimble, V. L.

    1981-01-01

    The Crab Nebula is marginally observable with the IUE. Observations of the optically brightest filamentary regions, made with IUE in August 1979, show the C IV lambda 1549, He II lambda 1640, and C III lambda 1909 emission lines. The intensities of these lines were compared with the visual wavelength data. It appears that carbon is not overabundant in the Crab; carbon/oxygen is approximately normal and oxygen is slightly scarcer than normal as a fraction of the total mass.

  11. Modelling the gamma-ray flares of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavani, Marco

    2014-01-01

    The detection of major gamma-ray flaring episodes above 100 MeV from the Crab Nebula is challenging theoretical models of particle acceleration. We will review the recent AGILE and Fermi-LAT data showing both short (hour/day) timescale flares and more prolonged enhanced emission lasting weeks. Gamma-ray emission peaking near 500 MeV is apparently violating standard constraints derived from relativistic cyclotron-limited acceleration and synchrotron cooling. The Crab "flaring phenomenon" shows evidence of "super-acceleration" characterized by: (1) an apparent violation of standard synchrotron cooling and of the MHD approximation, and (2) a radiation-reaction-limited spectrum of accelerated particles producing a quasi mono-energetic distribution. We will discuss several scenarios for super-acceleration including collisionless magnetic field reconnection in specific sites of the Crab Nebula. We will present recent theoretical modelling of the South-East jet in the Nebula, and will address the issue of instabilities and particle acceleration in the jet and in the inner Nebula. Understanding the Crab "flaring phenomenon" will have an important impact for a variety of high-energy astrophysical sources including relativistic jets in Galactic and extragalactic sources.

  12. Hard X-ray Variations in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Connaughton, V.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.; Preece, R.; Rodi, J. C.; Skinner, G. K.

    2013-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008 to August 2010, approximately 7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab Nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/ PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to approximately 3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003, Swift/BAT starting in 2005, and Fermi GBM starting in 2008. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula flux has appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. I will present updated light curves in multiple energy bands for the Crab Nebula, including recent data from Fermi GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL and MAXI, and a 16-year long light curve from RXTE/PCA.

  13. Hard X-ray Variations in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Chaplin, V.; Connaughton, V.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.; Preece, R.; Rodi, J. C.; Skinner, G. K.

    2013-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008 to August 2010, approximately 7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab Nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to approximately 3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003, Swift/BAT starting in 2005, and Fermi GBM starting in 2008. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula flux has appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. I will present updated light curves in multiple energy bands for the Crab nebula, including recent data from Fermi GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL and MAXI, and a 16-year long light curve from RXTE/PCA.

  14. Hard X-ray Variations in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgarter, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Chaplin, V.; Connaughton, V.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Lund, N.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.; Preece, R.; Rodi, J. C.

    2012-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008 to August 2010, a approx.7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab Nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to approx.3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003, Swift/BAT starting in 2005, and Fermi GBM starting in 2008. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula flux has appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. I will present updated light curves in multiple energy bands for the Crab nebula, including recent data from Fermi GBM, Swift/BAT, and MAXI, and a 16-year long light curve from RXTE/PCA.

  15. Crab Nebula Variations in Hard X-rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2012-01-01

    The Crab Nebula was surprisingly variable from 2001-2010, with less variability before 2001 and since mid-2010. We presented evidence for spectral softening from RXTE, Swift/BAT, and Fermi GBM during the mid-2008-2010 flux decline. We see no clear connections between the hard X-ray variations and the GeV flares

  16. PROPERTIES AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF DUST EMISSION IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Temim, Tea; Sonneborn, George; Dwek, Eli; Arendt, Richard G.; Gehrz, Robert D.; Slane, Patrick; Roellig, Thomas L.

    2012-07-01

    Recent infrared (IR) observations of freshly formed dust in supernova remnants have yielded significantly lower dust masses than predicted by theoretical models and measured from high-redshift observations. The Crab Nebula's pulsar wind is thought to be sweeping up freshly formed supernova (SN) dust along with the ejected gas. The evidence for this dust was found in the form of an IR excess in the integrated spectrum of the Crab and in extinction against the synchrotron nebula that revealed the presence of dust in the filament cores. We present the first spatially resolved emission spectra of dust in the Crab Nebula acquired with the Infrared Spectrograph on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. The IR spectra are dominated by synchrotron emission and show forbidden line emission from S, Si, Ne, Ar, O, Fe, and Ni. We derived a synchrotron spectral map from the 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m images, and subtracted this contribution from our data to produce a map of the residual continuum emission from dust. The dust emission appears to be concentrated along the ejecta filaments and is well described by an amorphous carbon or silicate grain compositions. We find a dust temperature of 55 {+-} 4 K for silicates and 60 {+-} 7 K for carbon grains. The total estimated dust mass is (1.2-12) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3} M{sub Sun }, well below the theoretical dust yield predicted for a core-collapse supernova. Our grain heating model implies that the dust grain radii are relatively small, unlike what is expected for dust grains formed in a Type IIP SN.

  17. Observations of Crab Nebula and pulsar with VERITAS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celik, Ozlem

    The Crab Nebula, the standard candle in very-high-energy (VHE) astronomy, is one of the most studied sources in all of astronomy. It is scientifically important to measure the energy spectrum of the Crab Nebula close to the inverse Compton peak or above 10 TeV where a deviation from the power law, seen at energies between 300 GeV and ˜5 TeV, may occur. Additionally, it is important to search for pulsed emission from the Crab Pulsar at energies beyond 10 GeV which is the upper limit of the EGRET detection of pulsed emission. Since current models predict a cut-off in the pulsed emission between 10 and 100 GeV, measurements at energies close to this range may help to discriminate between them. With these motivations, the Crab has been observed during the 2-, 3-, and 4-telescope phases of the commissioning of the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS). The energy spectrum of the Crab Nebula between 350 GeV and 6 TeV is constructed from these data sets. A simple power law, dNdE = (3.19 +/- 0.07stat +/- 0.70 sys) x 10-7 E1TeV 2.40+/-0.03 stat+/-0.17sys TeV-1m-2s-1 , is found to give the best fit to the data obtained with the full 4-telescope array of VERITAS. Furthermore, a periodic modulation is searched for in the gamma-ray emission above 100 GeV at the Crab Pulsar period of 33 ms. The Crab data set from the 2006--2008 VERITAS observations did not show any significant pulsed excess, so an upper limit on the pulsed emission from the Crab Pulsar is obtained. This upper limit constrains the cutoff energy of the spectrum to be less than 50 GeV, assuming that the differential energy spectrum of the pulsed emission has an exponential cutoff.

  18. Discovery of powerful gamma-ray flares from the Crab Nebula.

    PubMed

    Tavani, M; Bulgarelli, A; Vittorini, V; Pellizzoni, A; Striani, E; Caraveo, P; Weisskopf, M C; Tennant, A; Pucella, G; Trois, A; Costa, E; Evangelista, Y; Pittori, C; Verrecchia, F; Del Monte, E; Campana, R; Pilia, M; De Luca, A; Donnarumma, I; Horns, D; Ferrigno, C; Heinke, C O; Trifoglio, M; Gianotti, F; Vercellone, S; Argan, A; Barbiellini, G; Cattaneo, P W; Chen, A W; Contessi, T; D'Ammando, F; DePris, G; Di Cocco, G; Di Persio, G; Feroci, M; Ferrari, A; Galli, M; Giuliani, A; Giusti, M; Labanti, C; Lapshov, I; Lazzarotto, F; Lipari, P; Longo, F; Fuschino, F; Marisaldi, M; Mereghetti, S; Morelli, E; Moretti, E; Morselli, A; Pacciani, L; Perotti, F; Piano, G; Picozza, P; Prest, M; Rapisarda, M; Rappoldi, A; Rubini, A; Sabatini, S; Soffitta, P; Vallazza, E; Zambra, A; Zanello, D; Lucarelli, F; Santolamazza, P; Giommi, P; Salotti, L; Bignami, G F

    2011-02-11

    The well-known Crab Nebula is at the center of the SN1054 supernova remnant. It consists of a rotationally powered pulsar interacting with a surrounding nebula through a relativistic particle wind. The emissions originating from the pulsar and nebula have been considered to be essentially stable. Here, we report the detection of strong gamma-ray (100 mega-electron volts to 10 giga-electron volts) flares observed by the AGILE satellite in September 2010 and October 2007. In both cases, the total gamma-ray flux increased by a factor of three compared with the non-flaring flux. The flare luminosity and short time scale favor an origin near the pulsar, and we discuss Chandra Observatory x-ray and Hubble Space Telescope optical follow-up observations of the nebula. Our observations challenge standard models of nebular emission and require power-law acceleration by shock-driven plasma wave turbulence within an approximately 1-day time scale. PMID:21212318

  19. Observation and Spectral Measurements of the Crab Nebula with Milagro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdo, A. A.; Allen, B. T.; Aune, T.; Benbow, W.; Berley, D.; Chen, C.; Christopher, G. E.; DeYoung, T.; Dingus, B. L.; Falcone, A.; Fleysher, L.; Fleysher, R.; Gonzalez, M. M.; Goodman, J. A.; Gordo, J. B.; Hays, E.; Hoffman, C. M.; Huntemeyer, P. H.; Kolterman, B. E.; Linnemann, J. T.; McEnery, J. E.; Morgan, T.; Mincer, A. I.; Nemethy, P.

    2011-01-01

    The Crab Nebula was detected with the Milagro experiment at a statistical significance of 17 standard deviations over the lifetime of the experiment. The experiment was sensitive to approximately 100 GeV - 100 TeV gamma ray air showers by observing the particle footprint reaching the ground. The fraction of detectors recording signals from photons at the ground is a suitable proxy for the energy of the primary particle and has been used to measure the photon energy spectrum of the Crab Nebula between 1 and 100 TeV. The TeV emission is believed to be caused by inverse-Compton up-scattering scattering of ambient photons by an energetic electron population. The location of a Te V steepening or cutoff in the energy spectrum reveals important details about the underlying electron population. We describe the experiment and the technique for distinguishing gamma-ray events from the much more-abundant hadronic events. We describe the calculation of the significance of the excess from the Crab and how the energy spectrum is fit.

  20. Chandra X-Ray Observatory Image of Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    After barely 2 months in space, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO) took this sturning image of the Crab Nebula, the spectacular remains of a stellar explosion, revealing something never seen before, a brilliant ring around the nebula's heart. The image shows the central pulsar surrounded by tilted rings of high-energy particles that appear to have been flung outward over a distance of more than a light-year from the pulsar. Perpendicular to the rings, jet-like structures produced by high-energy particles blast away from the pulsar. Hubble Space Telescope images have shown moving knots and wisps around the neutron star, and previous x-ray images have shown the outer parts of the jet and hinted at the ring structure. With CXO's exceptional resolution, the jet can be traced all the way in to the neutron star, and the ring pattern clearly appears. The image was made with CXO's Advanced Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) and High Energy Transmission Grating. The Crab Nebula, easily the most intensively studied object beyond our solar system, has been observed using virtually every astronomical instrument that could see that part of the sky

  1. Unraveling the Geometry of the Crab Nebula's "Inner Ring"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery J.; O'Dell, Stephen L.; Tennant, Allyn F.

    2012-02-01

    Chandra images of the Crab Nebula resolve the detailed structure of its "inner ring," possibly a termination shock where pulsar-accelerated relativistic particles begin to emit X radiation. Analysis of these images finds that the center of the ellipse—presumably a circular ring in projection—lies about 0farcs9 (10 light days at 2 kpc) from the pulsar's image, at a position angle of about 300° (east of north). This analysis also measures properties of the ellipse: the position angle of the semi-major axis is about 210° (east of north); the aspect ratio is 0.49. In a simple—albeit, not unique—de-projection of the observed geometry, a circular ring is centered on the axis of symmetry of the pulsar wind nebula. This ring is not equatorial but rather lies near +4fdg5 latitude in pulsar-centered coordinates. Alternative geometries are briefly discussed.

  2. UNRAVELING THE GEOMETRY OF THE CRAB NEBULA's 'INNER RING'

    SciTech Connect

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery J.; O'Dell, Stephen L.; Tennant, Allyn F.

    2012-02-10

    Chandra images of the Crab Nebula resolve the detailed structure of its 'inner ring', possibly a termination shock where pulsar-accelerated relativistic particles begin to emit X radiation. Analysis of these images finds that the center of the ellipse-presumably a circular ring in projection-lies about 0.''9 (10 light days at 2 kpc) from the pulsar's image, at a position angle of about 300 Degree-Sign (east of north). This analysis also measures properties of the ellipse: the position angle of the semi-major axis is about 210 Degree-Sign (east of north); the aspect ratio is 0.49. In a simple-albeit, not unique-de-projection of the observed geometry, a circular ring is centered on the axis of symmetry of the pulsar wind nebula. This ring is not equatorial but rather lies near +4.{sup 0}5 latitude in pulsar-centered coordinates. Alternative geometries are briefly discussed.

  3. On Calibrations Using the Crab Nebula as a Standard Candle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin; Guainazzi, Matteo; Jahoda, Keith; Shaposhnikov, Nikolai; ODell, Stephen; Zavlin, Vyacheslav; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen; Elsner, Ronald

    2009-01-01

    Inspired by a recent paper (Kirsch et al. 2005) on possible use of the Crab Nebula as a standard candle for calibrating X-ray response func tions, we examine possible consequences of intrinsic departures from a single (absorbed) power law upon such calibrations. We limited our analyses to three more modern X-ray instruments -- the ROSAT/PSPC, th e RXTE/PCA, and the XMM-Newton/EPIC-pn. The results are unexpected an d indicate a need to refine two of the three response functions studi ed. The implications for Chandra will be discussed.

  4. A sensitive upper limit to the circular polarization of the Crab nebula at λ3 mm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiesemeyer, H.; Thum, C.; Morris, D.; Aumont, J.; Rosset, C.

    2011-04-01

    A new observation of the distribution of the circular polarization over the Crab Nebula supernova remnant yields an upper limit of <0.2% at a radio frequency of 89.2 GHz. This limit is set by the uncertainty in correcting for the instrumental polarization. The raw data were dominated by the conversion of the strong linear polarization to circular in the crosspolarized sidelobes of the 30 m telescope. They were modeled as due to a differential phase gradient between the orthogonally linearly polarized far-field radiation patterns of the two receivers. As the source is tracked these rotate with respect to the radio source distribution on the sky since the telescope has an alt-azimuth mount and a Nasmyth focus. This allows the model to be fit to the raw data and a correction can be made. Our limit of <0.2% is to be compared with <0.03% derived at 610 MHz (Wilson & Weiler 1997, ApJ, 475, 661) and <6% measured at 23 GHz (Wright & Forster 1980, ApJ, 239, 873). These limits are consistent with the polarization expected from an optically thin synchrotron source with the known physical properties of the Crab Nebula. This non-detection does not allow an estimate to be made of the relative contribution to the radio emission from electrons and positrons.

  5. A SURVEY OF MOLECULAR HYDROGEN IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Loh, E. D.; Baldwin, J. A.; Curtis, Z. K.; Ferland, G. J.; O'Dell, C. R.; Fabian, A. C.; Salome, Philippe E-mail: baldwin@pa.msu.edu E-mail: gary@pa.uky.edu E-mail: acf@ast.cam.ac.uk

    2011-06-01

    We have carried out a near-infrared, narrowband imaging survey of the Crab Nebula, in the H{sub 2} 2.12 {mu}m and Br{gamma} 2.17 {mu}m lines, using the Spartan Infrared camera on the SOAR Telescope. Over a 2.'8 x 5.'1 area that encompasses about 2/3 of the full visible extent of the Crab, we detect 55 knots that emit strongly in the H{sub 2} line. We catalog the observed properties of these knots. We show that they are in or next to the filaments that are seen in optical-passband emission lines. Comparison to Hubble Space Telescope [S II] and [O III] images shows that the H{sub 2} knots are strongly associated with compact regions of low-ionization gas. We also find evidence of many additional, fainter H{sub 2} features, both discrete knots and long streamers following gas that emits strongly in [S II]. A pixel-by-pixel analysis shows that about 6% of the Crab's projected surface area has significant H{sub 2} emission that correlates with [S II] emission. We measured radial velocities of the [S II] {lambda}6716 emission lines from 47 of the cataloged knots and find that most are on the far (receding) side of the nebula. We also detect Br{gamma} emission. It is right at the limit of our survey, and our Br{gamma} filter cuts off part of the expected velocity range. But clearly the Br{gamma} emission has a quite different morphology than the H{sub 2} knots, following the long linear filaments that are seen in H{alpha} and in [O III] optical emission lines.

  6. A COOL DUST FACTORY IN THE CRAB NEBULA: A HERSCHEL STUDY OF THE FILAMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Gomez, H. L.; Clark, C. J. R.; Gomez, E. L.; Gear, W. K.; Krause, O.; Besel, M.-A.; Bouwman, J.; Henning, Th.; Barlow, M. J.; Swinyard, B. M.; Owen, P. J.; Matsuura, M.; Rho, J.; Ivison, R. J.; Sibthorpe, B.; Polehampton, E. T.

    2012-11-20

    Whether supernovae are major sources of dust in galaxies is a long-standing debate. We present infrared and submillimeter photometry and spectroscopy from the Herschel Space Observatory of the Crab Nebula between 51 and 670 {mu}m as part of the Mass Loss from Evolved StarS program. We compare the emission detected with Herschel with multiwavelength data including millimeter, radio, mid-infrared, and archive optical images. We carefully remove the synchrotron component using the Herschel and Planck fluxes measured in the same epoch. The contribution from line emission is removed using Herschel spectroscopy combined with Infrared Space Observatory archive data. Several forbidden lines of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen are detected where multiple velocity components are resolved, deduced to be from the nitrogen-depleted, carbon-rich ejecta. No spectral lines are detected in the SPIRE wavebands; in the PACS bands, the line contribution is 5% and 10% at 70 and 100 {mu}m and negligible at 160 {mu}m. After subtracting the synchrotron and line emission, the remaining far-infrared continuum can be fit with two dust components. Assuming standard interstellar silicates, the mass of the cooler component is 0.24{sup +0.32} {sub -0.08} M {sub Sun} for T = 28.1{sup +5.5} {sub -3.2} K. Amorphous carbon grains require 0.11 {+-} 0.01 M {sub Sun} of dust with T = 33.8{sup +2.3} {sub -1.8} K. A single temperature modified blackbody with 0.14 M {sub Sun} and 0.08 M {sub Sun} for silicate and carbon dust, respectively, provides an adequate fit to the far-infrared region of the spectral energy distribution but is a poor fit at 24-500 {mu}m. The Crab Nebula has condensed most of the relevant refractory elements into dust, suggesting the formation of dust in core-collapse supernova ejecta is efficient.

  7. Chandra Discovers X-Ray Ring Around Cosmic Powerhouse in Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-09-01

    Grating. The Crab Nebula, easily the most intensively studied object beyond our solar system, is the remnant of a star that was observed to explode in 1054 A.D. Chinese astronomers in that year reported a "guest star" that appeared suddenly and remained visible for weeks, even during daytime. From gamma-ray telescopes to radio telescopes, the Crab has been observed using virtually every astronomical instrument that could see that part of the sky. Unraveling the mysteries of the Crab has proven to be the door to insight after insight into the workings of the universe. The Crab convincingly tied the origin of enigmatic "pulsars" to the stellar cataclysms known as supernovas. Observations of the expanding cloud of filaments in the Crab were instrumental in confirming the cosmic origin of the chemical elements from which planets (and people) are made. The nebula is located 6,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. The Crab pulsar, which was discovered by radio astronomers in 1968, is a neutron star rotating 30 times per second. Neutron stars are formed in the seconds before a supernova explosion when gravity crushes the central core of the star to densities 50 trillion times that of lead and a diameter of only 12 miles. Another consequence of the dramatic collapse is that neutron stars are rapidly rotating and highly magnetized. Like a gigantic cosmic generator, the rotating magnet generates 10 quadrillion volts of electricity, 30 million times that of a typical lightning bolt. "It is an incredibly efficient generator," Ruderman explained. "More than ninety-five percent efficient. There's nothing like it on Earth." Press: Fact Sheet To follow Chandra's progress, visit the Chandra News Web site at: http://chandra.harvard.edu AND http://chandra.nasa.gov NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. TRW, Inc., Redondo Beach, CA, is the prime contractor for the spacecraft. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and flight

  8. Hubble Space Telescope Observations of Oxygen-rich Supernova Remnants in the Magellanic Clouds. III. WFPC2 Imaging of the Young, Crab-like Supernova Remnant SNRO540-69.3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morse, Jon A.; Smith, Nathan; Blair, William P.; Kirshner, Robert P.; Winkler, P. Frank; Hughes, John P.

    2006-01-01

    Hubble Space Telescope images with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 of the young, oxygen-rich, Crab-like supernova remnant SNR0540-69.3 in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) reveal details of the emission distribution and the relationship between the expanding ejecta and synchrotron nebula. The emission distributions appear very similar to those seen in the Crab nebula, with the ejecta located in a thin envelope surrounding the synchrotron nebula. The [O III] emission is more extended than other tracers, forming a faint "skin" around the denser filaments and synchrotron nebula, as also observed in the Crab. The [O III] exhibits somewhat different kinematic structure in long-slit spectra, including a more extended high-velocity emission halo not seen in images. Yet even the fastest expansion speeds in SNR 0540 s halo are slow when compared to most other young supernova remnants, though the Crab nebula has similar slow expansion speeds. We show a striking correspondence between the morphology of the synchrotron nebula observed in an optical continuum filter with that recently resolved in Chandra X-ray images. We argue that the multi-component kinematics and filamentary morphology of the optical emission-line features likely result from magnetic Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities that form as the synchrotron nebula expands and sweeps up ejecta, as seen in the Crab nebula. Our images and spectra help to refine our understanding of SNR 0540 in several more detailed respects: they confirm the identification of H(alpha)+[N II] in the red spectrum, they show that the systemic velocity of SNR 0540 is not significantly different from that of the LMC, and they hint at a lower Ne abundance than the Crab (potentially indicating a more massive progenitor star).

  9. The Crab nebula and pulsar in the MeV energy range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Much, R.; Bennett, K.; Buccheri, R.; Busetta, M.; Diehl, R.; Forrest, D.; Hermsen, W.; Kuiper, L.; Lichti, G. G.; Mcconnell, M.

    1995-01-01

    The imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL) is sensitive in the energy range of 0.75 to 30 MeV. COMPTEL observed the Crab several times during the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) sky survey and CGRO Phase II. Both the Crab pulsar and nebula are detected over the entire COMPTEL energy range. The phase-averaged energy spectra of the Crab Pulsar and Nebula are presented. The combined observations provide sufficient statistics for a phase-resolved analysis of the Crab pulsar spectrum.

  10. OBSERVATION AND SPECTRAL MEASUREMENTS OF THE CRAB NEBULA WITH MILAGRO

    SciTech Connect

    Abdo, A. A.; Allen, B. T.; Chen, C.; Atkins, R.; Aune, T.; Benbow, W.; Coyne, D. G.; Dorfan, D. E.; Berley, D.; Blaufuss, E.; Bussons, J.; Bonamente, E.; Galbraith-Frew, J.; Christopher, G. E.; Fleysher, L.; Fleysher, R.; DeYoung, T.; Falcone, A.; Dingus, B. L.; Ellsworth, R. W.; and others

    2012-05-01

    The Crab Nebula was detected with the Milagro experiment at a statistical significance of 17 standard deviations over the lifetime of the experiment. The experiment was sensitive to approximately 100 GeV-100 TeV gamma-ray air showers by observing the particle footprint reaching the ground. The fraction of detectors recording signals from photons at the ground is a suitable proxy for the energy of the primary particle and has been used to measure the photon energy spectrum of the Crab Nebula between {approx}1 and {approx}100 TeV. The TeV emission is believed to be caused by inverse-Compton upscattering of ambient photons by an energetic electron population. The location of a TeV steepening or cutoff in the energy spectrum reveals important details about the underlying electron population. We describe the experiment and the technique for distinguishing gamma-ray events from the much more-abundant hadronic events. We describe the calculation of the significance of the excess from the Crab and how the energy spectrum is fitted. The differential photon energy spectrum, including the statistical errors from the fit, obtained using a simple power-law hypothesis for data between 2005 September and 2008 March is (6.5 {+-} 0.4) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -14}(E/10 TeV){sup -3.1{+-}0.1}(cm{sup 2} s TeV ){sup -1} between {approx}1 TeV and {approx}100 TeV. Allowing for a possible exponential cutoff, the photon energy spectrum is fitted as (2.5{sup +0.7}{sub -0.4}) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -12}(E/3 TeV){sup -2.5{+-}0.4}exp (- E/32{sup +39}{sub -18} TeV) (cm{sup 2} s TeV){sup -1}. The results are subject to an {approx}30% systematic uncertainty in the overall flux and an {approx}0.1 systematic uncertainty in the power-law indices quoted. Uncertainty in the overall energy scale has been absorbed into these errors. Fixing the spectral index to values that have been measured below 1 TeV by IACT experiments (2.4-2.6), the fit to the Milagro data suggests that Crab exhibits a

  11. Extraordinary line-emitting knots in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macalpine, Gordon M.; Lawrence, Stephen S.; Brown, Beth A.; Uomoto, Alan; Woodgate, Bruce E.; Brown, Larry W.; Oliversen, Ronald J.; Lowenthal, James D.; Liu, Charles

    1994-01-01

    Extraordinary, semistellar, line-emitting knots are apparent in images of the Crab Nebula which were obtained with the Goddard Fabry-Perot imager at the Michigan-Dartmouth-MIT Observatory. The knots are most prominent for (O III) lambda 5007 emission through a 5.3 A (Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM)) bandpass centered at 5015.3 A, with representative fluxes of roughly 10(exp -14) ergs/sq cm. They are aligned in arcs, seven to the north and four to the south, from the pulsar. The northern group appears to be in a bounded corridor through the filamentary structure. Measurements over a 2 year baseline yield proper motions of order 0.1 sec/yr, corresponding to transverse velocities of order 900 km/s for a distance of 1830 pc. The knots are characterized by remarkably strong (Ar III) emission, possibly indicating high argon abundances, high gas temperatures, or anomalous physical processes.

  12. New Observations of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Tennant, Allyn F.; ODell, Stephen L.; Elsner, Ronald f.; Yakovlev, Dmitry R.; Zavlin, Vyacheslav E.; Becker, Werner

    2010-01-01

    We present a phase-resolved study of the X-ray spectrum of the Crab Pulsar, using data obtained in a special mode with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The superb angular resolution easily enables discerning the Pulsar from the surrounding nebulosity, even at pulse minimum. We find that the Pulsar's X-ray spectral index varies sinusoidally with phase---except over the same phase range for which rather abrupt changes in optical polarization magnitude and position angle have been reported. In addition, we use the X-ray data to constrain the surface temperature for various neutron-star equations of state and atmospheres. Finally, we present new data on dynamical variations of structure within the Nebula.

  13. A BRIGHT MOLECULAR CORE IN A CRAB NEBULA FILAMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Loh, E. D.; Baldwin, J. A.; Ferland, G. J. E-mail: baldwin@pa.msu.ed

    2010-06-10

    In a sub-arcsec near-infrared survey of the Crab Nebula using the new Spartan Infrared Camera, we have found several knots with high surface brightness in the H{sub 2} 2.12 {mu}m line and a very large H{sub 2} 2.12 {mu}m to Br{gamma} ratio. The brightest of these knots has an intensity ratio I(H{sub 2} 2.12 {mu}m)/I(Br{gamma}) = 18 {+-} 9, which we show sets a lower limit on the ratio of masses in the molecular and recombination (i.e., ionized) zones M{sub mol}/M{sub rec} {>=} 0.9, and a total molecular mass within this single knot M{sub mol} {>=} 5 x 10{sup -5} M{sub sun}. We argue that the knot discussed here probably is able to emit so strongly in the 2.12 {mu}m line because its physical conditions are better tuned for such emission than is the case in other filaments. It is unclear whether this knot has an unusually large M{sub mol}/M{sub rec} ratio, or if many other Crab filaments also have similar amounts of molecular gas which is not emitting because the physical conditions are not so well tuned.

  14. CRAB NEBULA: FIVE-YEAR OBSERVATION WITH ARGO-YBJ

    SciTech Connect

    Bartoli, B.; Catalanotti, S.; D'Ettorre Piazzoli, B.; Di Girolamo, T.; Bernardini, P.; D'Amone, A.; De Mitri, I.; Bi, X. J.; Cao, Z.; Chen, S. Z.; Branchini, P.; Budano, A.; Camarri, P.; Cardarelli, R.; Di Sciascio, G.; Chen, T. L.; Danzengluobu; Creti, P.; Cui, S. W.; Dai, B. Z.; Collaboration: ARGO-YBJ Collaboration; and others

    2015-01-10

    The ARGO-YBJ air shower detector monitored the Crab Nebula gamma-ray emission from 2007 November to 2013 February. The integrated signal, consisting of ∼3.3 × 10{sup 5} events, reached the statistical significance of 21.1 standard deviations. The obtained energy spectrum in the energy range 0.3-20 TeV can be described by a power law function dN/dE = I {sub 0} (E/2 TeV){sup –α}, with a flux normalization I {sub 0} = (5.2 ± 0.2) × 10{sup –12} photons cm{sup –2} s{sup –1} TeV{sup –1} and α = 2.63 ± 0.05, corresponding to an integrated flux above 1 TeV of 1.97 × 10{sup –11} photons cm{sup –2} s{sup –1}. The systematic error is estimated to be less than 30% for the flux normalization and 0.06 for the spectral index. Assuming a power law spectrum with an exponential cutoff dN/dE = I {sub 0} (E/2 TeV){sup –α} exp (–E/E {sub cut}), the lower limit of the cutoff energy E {sub cut} is 12 TeV, at 90% confidence level. Our extended data set allows the study of the TeV emission over long timescales. Over five years, the light curve of the Crab Nebula in 200-day bins is compatible with a steady emission with a probability of 7.3 × 10{sup –2}. A correlated analysis with Fermi-LAT data over ∼4.5 yr using the light curves of the two experiments gives a Pearson correlation coefficient r = 0.56 ± 0.22. Concerning flux variations on timescales of days, a ''blind'' search for flares with a duration of 1-15 days gives no excess with a significance higher than four standard deviations. The average rate measured by ARGO-YBJ during the three most powerful flares detected by Fermi-LAT is 205 ± 91 photons day{sup –1}, consistent with the average value of 137 ± 10 day{sup –1}.

  15. The effects of magnetic field, age and intrinsic luminosity on Crab-like pulsar wind nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, D. F.; Martín, J.; de Oña Wilhelmi, E.; Cillis, Analia

    2013-12-01

    We investigate the time-dependent behaviour of Crab-like pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) generating a set of models using four different initial spin-down luminosities (L0 = {1, 0.1, 0.01, 0.001} × L0,Crab), eight values of magnetic fraction (η = 0.001, 0.01, 0.03, 0.1, 0.5, 0.9, 0.99 and 0.999, i.e. from fully particle dominated to fully magnetically dominated nebulae) and three distinctive ages: 940, 3000 and 9000 years. We find that the self-synchrotron Compton (SSC) contribution is irrelevant for LSD = 0.1, 1 and 10 per cent of the Crab power, disregarding the age and the magnetic fraction. SSC only becomes relevant for highly energetic (˜70 per cent of the Crab), particle dominated nebulae at low ages (of less than a few kyr), located in a far-infrared (FIR) background with relatively low energy density. Since no pulsar other than Crab is known to have these features, these results clarify why the Crab nebula, and only it, is SSC dominated. No young PWN would be detectable at TeV energies if the pulsar's spin-down power is 0.1 per cent Crab or lower. For 1 per cent of the Crab spin-down, only particle-dominated nebulae can be detected by HESS-like telescopes when young enough (with details depending on the precise injection and environmental parameters). Above 10 per cent of the Crab's power, all PWNe are detectable by HESS-like telescopes if they are particle dominated, no matter the age. The impact of the magnetic fraction on the final spectral energy distribution is varied and important, generating order of magnitude variations in the luminosity output for systems that are otherwise the same (equal P, dot{P}, injection and environment).

  16. Crab Nebula observations - 0.2-10 MeV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruber, D. E.

    1975-01-01

    Observations of the total emission from the Crab Nebula and also of the pulsed component were made over the 0.2 to 10-MeV range during three balloon flights in 1971 with an actively-collimated NaI scintillator. The total emission flux was positively observed over the entire interval. The observed spectrum to 1 MeV agrees with an extrapolation of the E to the -2.2 power law, which fits lower-energy data. The observations above 1 MeV are factors of 3 and 20 above this law and are better fit with a spectral index of 0.8. Confidence levels are 3 sigma or better for each half-decade band. The three observations are consistent with a constant flux level. The NP 0532 flux, detected during one flight only (August 8) between 0.2 and 0.38 MeV, agrees with the exponential power law spectrum already determined from other observations. The possibility of a rapidly rising pulsed emission fraction over the 0.1- to 1-MeV interval is excluded by this observation.

  17. The Crab Nebula pulsar - Variability of dispersion and scattering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Isaacman, R.; Rankin, J. M.

    1977-01-01

    Previous investigations of the effects of interstellar dispersion and scattering on the waveform of the Crab Nebula pulsar (NP 0532) have indicated a two-screen scattering model with one variable screen and have revealed anomalously large phase residuals at 73.8 MHz. The relevant observational data are reanalyzed in order to bring the two-screen model into better agreement with theoretical models of the interstellar medium and to account for the low-frequency (73.8-MHz) phase anomaly. The wavenumber spectrum of electron-density fluctuations is examined along with its role in scattering models involving an extended medium, a thick screen, or a thin screen. A tenable unit impulse response is constructed for a thin screen, its Fourier transform is analyzed, and an attempt is made to obtain the dispersion measure and scattering constants for two screens. A comparison of the resulting pulse-broadening and delay effects with other theoretical predictions shows that all observed pulse-broadening and delay effects in NP 0532 are consistent with scattering by a single thick slab of plasma occupying no more than one quarter of the line of sight.

  18. FLARES IN THE CRAB NEBULA DRIVEN BY UNTWISTING MAGNETIC FIELDS

    SciTech Connect

    Sturrock, Peter; Aschwanden, Markus J. E-mail: aschwanden@lmsal.com

    2012-06-01

    The recent discovery of PeV electrons from the Crab Nebula, produced on rapid timescales of one day or less with a sharply peaked gamma-ray spectrum without hard X-rays, challenges traditional models of diffusive shock acceleration followed by synchrotron radiation. Here, we outline an acceleration model involving a DC electric field parallel to the magnetic field in a twisted toroidal field around the pulsar. Sudden developments of resistivity in localized regions of the twisted field are thought to drive the particle acceleration, up to PeV energies, resulting in flares. This model can reproduce the observed timescales of T Almost-Equal-To 1 day, the peak photon energies of U{sub {Phi},rr} Almost-Equal-To 1 MeV, maximum electron energies of U{sub e,rr} Almost-Equal-To 1 PeV, and luminosities of L Almost-Equal-To 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}.

  19. UV Timing and Spectroscopy of the Crab Nebula Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gull, Theodore R.; Lunqvist, Peter; Sollerman, Jesper; Lindler, Don; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We have used the Hubble Space Telescope and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to obtain Near Ultraviolet (NUV) (1600-3200 Angstroms) and Far Ultraviolet (FUV) (1140-1720 Angstroms) spectra and pulse profiles of the Crab Nebula's pulsar. The pulse period agrees well with the radio predictions. The NUV and FUV pulse profiles are little changed from the visible wavelength profile. Spectra obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope were combined with the UV spectra for full coverage from 1140-9250Angstoms. Dereddening the spectrum with a standard extinction curve achieves a flat spectrum for E(B-V)=0.52, R=3.1. Lyman alpha absorption indicates a column density of 3.0=/-0.5 x 10(exp 21) cm -2, consistent with the E(B-V) of 0.52. The dereddened spectrum can be fitted by a power law with spectral index alpha=0.11+/-0.04. A broad, blueshifted absorption is seen in CIV (1550Angstroms), reaching a velocity of about 2500 kilometer per second.

  20. A Cool Dust Factory in the Crab Nebula: A Herschel Study of the Filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, H. L.; Krause, O.; Barlow, M. J.; Swinyard, B. M.; Owen, P. J.; Clark, C. J. R.; Matsuura, M.; Gomez, E. L.; Rho, J.; Besel, M.-A.; Bouwman, J.; Gear, W. K.; Henning, Th.; Ivison, R. J.; Polehampton, E. T.; Sibthorpe, B.

    2012-11-01

    Whether supernovae are major sources of dust in galaxies is a long-standing debate. We present infrared and submillimeter photometry and spectroscopy from the Herschel Space Observatory of the Crab Nebula between 51 and 670 μm as part of the Mass Loss from Evolved StarS program. We compare the emission detected with Herschel with multiwavelength data including millimeter, radio, mid-infrared, and archive optical images. We carefully remove the synchrotron component using the Herschel and Planck fluxes measured in the same epoch. The contribution from line emission is removed using Herschel spectroscopy combined with Infrared Space Observatory archive data. Several forbidden lines of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen are detected where multiple velocity components are resolved, deduced to be from the nitrogen-depleted, carbon-rich ejecta. No spectral lines are detected in the SPIRE wavebands; in the PACS bands, the line contribution is 5% and 10% at 70 and 100 μm and negligible at 160 μm. After subtracting the synchrotron and line emission, the remaining far-infrared continuum can be fit with two dust components. Assuming standard interstellar silicates, the mass of the cooler component is 0.24+0.32 - 0.08 M ⊙ for T = 28.1+5.5 - 3.2 K. Amorphous carbon grains require 0.11 ± 0.01 M ⊙ of dust with T = 33.8+2.3 - 1.8 K. A single temperature modified blackbody with 0.14 M ⊙ and 0.08 M ⊙ for silicate and carbon dust, respectively, provides an adequate fit to the far-infrared region of the spectral energy distribution but is a poor fit at 24-500 μm. The Crab Nebula has condensed most of the relevant refractory elements into dust, suggesting the formation of dust in core-collapse supernova ejecta is efficient. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  1. Observation of Crab-Like Supernova Remnants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seward, Frederick D.

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of this program was to observe the supernova remnants 3C58 and G21.5-0.9 and to search for pulsed emission. If a pulsar were to be found, the period derivative and inferred magnetic field would have extreme values if pulsar evolution had followed the standard model. If this is not the case, the standard model must be revised. We also sought to obtain very accurate measurement of the synchrotron emission spectrum of each remnant.

  2. Fluid Instabilities in the Crab Nebula Jet: Results from Numerical Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignone, A.; Striani, E.; Bodo, G.; Anjiri, M.

    2014-09-01

    We present an overview of high-resolution relativistic MHD numerical simulations of the Crab Nebula South-East jet. The models are based on hot and relativistic hollow outflows initially carrying a purely toroidal magnetic field. Our results indicate that weakly relativistic (γ˜ 2) and strongly magnetized jets are prone to kink instabilities leading to a noticeable deflection of the jet. These conclusions are in good agreement with the recent X-ray (Chandra) data of Crab Nebula South-East jet indicating a change in the direction of propagation on a time scale of the order of few years.

  3. Extreme gamma-ray outburst during the current Crab Nebula flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hays, E.; Buehler, R.; D'Ammand, F.

    2011-04-01

    The Large Area Telescope (LAT), one of the two instruments on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, previously reported a new gamma-ray flare from the direction of the Crab Nebula beginning on the 9th of April (ATel #3276). The increased emission was afterwards confirmed by the AGILE satellite (ATel #3282).The Crab Nebula is currently also being monitored by Chandra, which observed a bright knot east of the pulsar (ATel #3283), similar to previous observations in the September 2010 flare.

  4. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Hard X-ray Variations in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen; Cherry, Michael L.; Case, Gary L.; Baumgartner, Wayne H.; Beklen, Elif; Bhat, Narayana P.; Briggs, Michael S.; Buehler, Rolf; Camero-Arranz, Ascension; Connaughton, Valerie; Diehl, Roland; Finger, Mark H.; Gehrels, Neil; Greiner, Jochen; Harrison, Fiona; Hays, Elizabeth A.; Jahoda, Keith; Jenke, Peter; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Krimm, Hans A.; Kuulkers, Erik; Madsen, Kristin; Markwardt, Craig; Meegan, Charles A.

    2014-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008 to August 2010, an approximately 7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to approximately3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003, Swift/BAT starting in 2005, and Fermi GBM starting in 2008. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula flux has appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. At higher energies, above 50 keV, the Crab flux appears to be slowly recovering to its 2008 levels. I will present updated light curves in multiple energy bands for the Crab nebula, including recent data from Fermi GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL, MAXI, and NuSTAR and a 16-year long light curve from RXTE/PCA. We will compare these variations to higher energies as well, e.g. Fermi LAT.

  5. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Hard X-Ray Variations in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camaro-Arranz, A.; Connaughton, V.; Diehl, R.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Harrison, F.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Madsen, K.; Markwardt, C.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.

    2014-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008 to August 2010, an approximately 7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to approximately 3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003, Swift/BAT starting in 2005, and Fermi GBM starting in 2008. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula flux has appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. At higher energies, above 50 keV, the Crab flux appears to be slowly recovering to its 2008 levels. I will present updated light curves in multiple energy bands for the Crab nebula, including recent data from Fermi GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL, MAXI, and NuSTAR and a 16-year long light curve from RXTE/PCA.

  6. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Crab Nebula Variations in Hard X-rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Collen A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Chaplin, V.; Connaughton, V.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Lund, N.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.; Preece, R.; Rodi, J. C.

    2012-01-01

    RXTE played a crucial role in our surprising discovery that the Crab Nebula is variable in hard X-rays. In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008-2010, a approx.7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab Nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed in the 15-50 keV band with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to approx.3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003 and Swift/BAT starting in 2005. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula 15-50 keV flux measured with RXTE/PCA appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. In this talk I will present Crab light curves including RXTE data for the entire 16-year mission in multiple energy bands.

  7. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Hard X-ray Variations in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen; Cherry, Michael L.; Case, Gary L.; Baumgartner, Wayne H.; Beklen, Elif; Bhat, Narayana P.; Briggs, Michael Stephen; Buehler, Rolf; Camero-Arranz, Ascension; Connaughton, Valerie; Diehl, Roland; Finger, Mark H.; Gehrels, Neil; Greiner, Jochen; Harrison, Fiona; Hays, Elizabeth A.; Jahoda, Keith; Jenke, Peter; Kippen, R. Marc; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Krimm, Hans A.; Kuulkers, Erik; Madsen, Kristin; Markwardt, Craig; Meegan, Charles A.; Natalucci, Lorenzo; Paciesas, William Simon; Preece, Robert D.; Rodi, James; Shaposhnikov, Nikolai; Skinner, Gerald K.; Swartz, Douglas A.; von Kienlin, Andreas; Zhang, Xiao-Ling

    2015-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM), August 2008 to August 2010, a ~7% (70 mcrab) decline was discovered in the overall Crab nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline was independently confirmed with four other instruments: the RXTE/PCA, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA from 1999-2010 was consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes were nebular. From 2001 to 2010, the Crab nebula flux measured with RXTE/PCA was particularly variable, changing by up to ~3.5% per year in the 15-50 keV band. These variations were confirmed with INTEGRAL/SPI starting in 2003, Swift/BAT starting in 2005, and Fermi GBM starting in 2008. Before 2001 and since 2010, the Crab nebula flux has appeared more stable, varying by less than 2% per year. At higher energies, above 50 keV, the Crab flux appears to be slowly recovering to its 2008 levels. I will present updated light curves in multiple energy bands for the Crab nebula, including recent data from Fermi GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL, MAXI, and NuSTAR and a 16-year long light curve from RXTE/PCA. We will compare these variations to higher energies as well, e.g. Fermi LAT.

  8. THE RADIO-2 mm SPECTRAL INDEX OF THE CRAB NEBULA MEASURED WITH GISMO

    SciTech Connect

    Arendt, R. G.; George, J. V.; Staguhn, J. G.; Benford, D. J.; Fixsen, D. J.; Maher, S. F.; Moseley, S. H.; Sharp, E.; Wollack, E. J.; Devlin, M. J.; Dicker, S. R.; Korngut, P. M.; Irwin, K. D.; Jhabvala, C. A.; Miller, T. M.; Kovacs, A.; Mason, B. S.; Navarro, S.; Sievers, A.; Sievers, J. L.

    2011-06-10

    We present results of 2 mm observations of the Crab Nebula, obtained using the Goddard-IRAM Superconducting 2 Millimeter Observer (GISMO) bolometer camera on the IRAM 30 m telescope. Additional 3.3 mm observations with the MUSTANG bolometer array on the Green Bank Telescope are also presented. The integrated 2 mm flux density of the Crab Nebula provides no evidence for the emergence of a second synchrotron component that has been proposed. It is consistent with the radio power-law spectrum, extrapolated up to a break frequency of log ({nu}{sub b}[GHz]) = 2.84 {+-} 0.29 or {nu}{sub b} = 695{sup +651}{sub -336} GHz. The Crab Nebula is well resolved by the {approx}16.''7 beam (FWHM) of GISMO. Comparison to radio data at comparable spatial resolution enables us to confirm significant spatial variation of the spectral index between 21 cm and 2 mm. The main effect is a spectral flattening in the inner region of the Crab Nebula, correlated with the toroidal structure at the center of the nebula that is prominent in the near-IR through X-ray regime.

  9. A model of unpulsed very high energy gamma rays from the Crab Nebula and pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwok, P. W.; Cheng, K. S.; Lau, M. M.

    1991-01-01

    The angular resolution of gamma-ray detectors does not allow one to separate the nebula from the pulsar in the Crab. It is generally assumed that the steady emission of gamma rays comes from the nebula. Using the 'outer magnetospheric gap' model, an alternative mechanism in which the steady emission of gamma rays could come from a compact region, a couple of light cylinder radii beyond the pulsar.

  10. Supernova remnants, planetary nebulae and the distance to NGC 4214

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dopita, Michael A.; Calzetti, Daniela; Maíz Apellániz, Jesús; Blair, William P.; Long, Knox S.; Mutchler, Max; Whitmore, Bradley C.; Bond, Howard E.; MacKenty, John; Balick, Bruce; Carollo, Marcella; Disney, Michael; Frogel, Jay A.; O'Connell, Robert; Hall, Donald; Holtzman, Jon A.; Kimble, Randy A.; McCarthy, Patrick; Paresce, Francesco; Saha, Abhijit; Walker, Alistair R.; Silk, Joe; Sirianni, Marco; Trauger, John; Windhorst, Rogier; Young, Erick

    2010-11-01

    We present narrow band, continuum subtracted H α, [S ii], H β, [O iii] and [O ii] data taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope in the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy NGC 4214. From these images, we identify seventeen new planetary nebula candidates, and seven supernova remnant candidates. We use the observed emission line luminosity function of the planetary nebulae to establish a new velocity-independent distance to NGC 4214. We conclude that the PNLF technique gives a reddening independent distance to NGC 4214 of 3.19±0.36 Mpc, and that our current best-estimate of the distance to this galaxy ids 2.98±0.13 Mpc.

  11. Historical Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, D. A.; Stephenson, F. R.

    The available historical records of supernovae occurring in our own Galaxy over the past two thousand years are reviewed. These accounts include the well-recorded supernovae of AD1604 (Kepler's SN), AD1572 (Tycho's SN), AD1181 AD1054 (which produced the Crab Nebula) and AD1006, together with less certain events dating back to AD185. In the case of the supernovae of AD1604 and AD1572 it is European records that provide the most accurate information available, whereas for earlier supernovae records are principally from East Asian sources. Also discussed briefly are several spurious supernova candidates, and the future prospects for studies of historical supernovae.

  12. Observational and theoretical constraints for an Hα-halo around the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tziamtzis, A.; Schirmer, M.; Lundqvist, P.; Sollerman, J.

    2009-04-01

    Aims: We searched for a fast moving Hα shell around the Crab nebula. Such a shell could account for this supernova remnant's missing mass, and carry enough kinetic energy to make SN 1054 a normal type II event. Methods: Deep Hα images were obtained with WFI at the 2.2 m MPG/ESO telescope and with MOSCA at the 2.56 m NOT. The data are compared with theoretical expectations derived from shell models with ballistic gas motion, constant temperature, constant degree of ionisation, and a power law for the density profile. Results: We reach a surface brightness limit of 5 × 10-8 erg s-1 cm-2 sr-1. A halo is detected, but at a much higher surface brightness than our models of recombination emission and dust scattering predict. Only collisional excitation of Lyβ with partial de-excitation to Hα could explain such amplitudes. We show that the halo seen is caused by PSF scattering and thus not related to a real shell. We also investigated the feasibility of a spectroscopic detection of high-velocity Hα gas towards the centre of the Crab nebula. Modelling the emission spectra shows that such gas easily evades detection in the complex spectral environment of the Hα-line. Conclusions: PSF scattering significantly contaminates our data, preventing a detection of the predicted fast shell. A real halo with observed peak flux of about 2 × 10-7 erg s-1 cm-2 sr-1 could still be accomodated within our error bars, but our models predict a factor 4 lower surface brightness. Eight meters class telescopes could detect such fluxes unambiguously, provided that a sufficiently accurate PSF model is available. Finally, we note that PSF scattering also affects other research areas where faint haloes are searched for around bright and extended targets. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal Observatories, Chile (ESO Programmes 66.D-0489, 68.D-0096 and 170.A-0519). Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La

  13. Enhanced TeV gamma ray flux from the Crab Nebula observed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aielli, G.; Camarri, P.; Iuppa, R.; Santonico, R.; Bacci, C.; Branchini, P.; Budano, A.; Bussino, S.; Celio, P.; de Vincenzi, M.; James, I.; Mari, S. M.; Montini, P.; Pistilli, P.; Bartoli, B.; Catalanotti, S.; D'Ettorre Piazzoli, B.; di Girolamo, T.; Iacovacci, M.; Saggese, L.; Bernardini, P.; Bleve, C.; de Mitri, I.; Mancarella, G.; Marsella, G.; Martello, D.; Panareo, M.; Perrone, L.; Bi, X. J.; Cao, Z.; Chen, S. Z.; Chen, Y.; Feng, Zhaoyang; Gou, Q. B.; Guo, Y. Q.; He, H. H.; Hu, Hongbo; Li, X. X.; Liu, C.; Lu, H.; Ma, X. H.; Shen, P. R.; Sheng, X. D.; Shi, F.; Tan, Y. H.; Wang, B.; Wang, H.; Wu, C. Y.; Wu, H. R.; Yao, Z. G.; Zha, M.; Zhang, H. M.; Zhang, Jilong; Zhang, Jianli; Zhang, Y.; Zhu, Q. Q.; Calabrese Melcarne, A. K.; Zizzi, G.; Cappa, A.; Vallania, P.; Vernetto, S.; Cardarelli, R.; di Sciascio, G.; Liberti, B.; Cattaneo, C.; Salvini, P.; Creti, P.; Surdo, A.; Cui, S. W.; Dai, B. Z.; Liu, C. Q.; Liu, J.; Yang, Q. Y.; Yang, X. C.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, P.; D'Ali'Staiti, G.; Chen, T. L.; Danzengluobu; Ding, X. H.; Hu, Haibing; Labaciren; Li, H. J.; Liu, M. Y.; Ning, C. C.; Yuan, A. F.; Zhaxisangzhu; Zhaxiciren; Dattoli, M.; Vigorito, C.; Feng, C. F.; Li, J. Y.; Qu, X. B.; Xue, L.; Zhang, X. Y.; Feng, Zhenyong; Huang, Q.; Jia, H. Y.; Xu, B.; Zhou, X. X.; Zhu, F. R.; Galeazzi, F.; Gargana, R.; Ruggieri, F.; Stanescu, C.; Galeotti, P.; Giroletti, E.; Liguori, G.; Mastroianni, S.; Rossi, E.; Pagliaro, A.

    2010-10-01

    Following the discovery by AGILE (ATEL #2855) and confirmation by Fermi/Lat (ATEL #2861) of enhanced gamma ray emission from the Crab Nebula region in the time interval from September 18 to September 22 2010, we report on the observation performed during the same days by ARGO-YBJ.

  14. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Crab Nebula Variations in Hard X-rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.

    2012-01-01

    The Crab Nebula was surprisingly variable from 2001-2010, with less variability before 2001 and since mid-2010. We presented evidence for spectral softening from RXTE, Swift/BAT, and Fermi GBM during the mid-2008-2010 flux decline. We will miss RXTE, but will continue our monitoring program using Fermi/GBM, MAXI, and Swift/BAT.

  15. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Crab Nebula Variations in Hard X-rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Chaplin, V.; Connaughton, V.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Lund, N.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.; Preece, R.; Rodi, J. C.

    2011-01-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) since August 2008, a 7% (70 mcrab) decline was observed in the overall Crab Nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline is independently confirmed in the 15-50 keV band with four other instruments: Swift/BAT, the RXTE/PCA, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. A similar decline is also observed in the 3-15 keV data from the RXTE/PCA and in the 50-100 keV band with GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA since 1999 is consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes are nebular. Correlated variations in the Crab Nebula flux on a 3 year timescale are also seen independently with the PCA, BAT, IBIS, and SPI from 2005 to 2008, with a flux minimum in April 2007. As of April 2011, the Crab nebula flux has stopped declining and may be beginning to increase. We will present updated results on our multi-instrument study of long-term Crab nebula variations.

  16. When a Standard Candle Flickers: Crab Nebula Variations in Hard X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Colleen; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Beklen, E.; Bhat, P. N.; Briggs, M. S.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Chaplin, V.; Connaughton, V.; Finger, M. H.; Gehrels, N.; Greiner, J.; Jahoda, K.; Jenke, P.; Kippen, R. M.; Kouveliotou, C.; Krimm, H. A.; Kuulkers, E.; Lund, N.; Meegan, C. A.; Natalucci, L.; Paciesas, W. S.; Preece, R.; Rodi, J. C.; Shaposhnikov, N.; Skinner, G. K.; Swartz, D.; von Kienlin, A.; Diehl, R.; Zhang, X.

    2011-09-01

    In the first two years of science operations of the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) since August 2008, a 7% (70 mcrab) decline was observed in the overall Crab Nebula flux in the 15 - 50 keV band, measured with the Earth occultation technique. This decline is independently confirmed in the 15-50 keV band with four other instruments: Swift/BAT, the RXTE/PCA, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. A similar decline is also observed in the 3-15 keV data from the RXTE/PCA and in the 50-100 keV band with GBM, Swift/BAT, INTEGRAL/IBIS, and INTEGRAL/SPI. The pulsed flux measured with RXTE/PCA since 1999 is consistent with the pulsar spin-down, indicating that the observed changes are nebular. Correlated variations in the Crab Nebula flux on a 3 year timescale are also seen independently with the PCA, BAT, IBIS, and SPI from 2005 to 2008, with a flux minimum in April 2007. As of April 2011, the Crab nebula flux has stopped declining and may be beginning to increase. We will present updated results on our multi-instrument study of long-term Crab nebula variations.

  17. The high energy X-ray spectrum of the Crab Nebula observed from OSO 8

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dolan, J. F.; Crannell, L. J.; Dennis, B. R.; Orwig, L. E.; Maurer, G. S.; Frost, K. J.

    1977-01-01

    The X-ray spectrum of the Crab Nebula was measured with the scintillation spectrometer on board the OSO-8 satellite. The total emission of the X-ray source shows no long term variability. The spectrum itself can be described by a single power law out to energies of at least 500 keV.

  18. The Crab nebula energy origin and its high frequency radiation spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machabeli, George Z.; Rogava, A.; Chkheidze, N.; Osmanov, Z.; Shapakidze, D.

    2016-06-01

    > In the present work there is presented a model describing transfer of the Crab pulsar's spin-down energy into the powerful synchrotron emission of the nebula. The process of the energy transfer consists of several consecutive stages. The physical processes underlying the theoretical model provide us with the synchrotron emission spectrum, which fits well with the observed one.

  19. Discovery of Spatial and Spectral Structure in the X-Ray Emission from the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Hester, J. Jeff; Tennant, Allyn F.; Elsner, Ronald F.; Schulz, Norbert S.; Marshall, Herman L.; Karovska, Margarita; Nichols, Joy S.; Swartz, Douglas A.; Kolodziejczak, Jeffery J.

    2000-01-01

    The Chandra X-Ray Observatory observed the Crab Nebula and pulsar during orbital calibration. Zeroth-order images with the High-Energy Transmission Grating (HETG) readout by the Advanced Charge Coupled Devices (CCD) Imaging Spectrometer spectroscopy array (ACIS-S) show a striking richness of X-ray structure at a resolution comparable to that of the best ground-based visible-light observations. The HETG-ACIS-S images reveal, for the first time, an X-ray inner ring within the X-ray torus, the suggestion of a hollow-tube structure for the torus, and X-ray knots along the inner ring and (perhaps) along the inward extension of the X-ray jet. Although complicated by instrumental effects and the brightness of the Crab Nebula, the spectrometric analysis shows systematic variations of the X-ray spectrum throughout the nebula.

  20. Discovery of Spatial and Spectral Structure in the X-Ray Emission from the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M.; Hester, J. J.; Tennant, A. F.; Elsner, R. F.; Schulz, N. S.; Marshall, H. L.; Karovska, M.; Nichols, J. S.; Swartz, D. A.; Kolodziejczak, J. J.

    2000-01-01

    The Chandra X-ray Observatory observed the Crab Nebula and Pulsar During orbital calibration. Zeroth-order images with the High-Energy Transmission Grating (HETG) read-out by the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer spectroscopy array (ACIS-S) show a striking richness of X-ray structure, at a resolution comparable to that of the best ground-based visible-light observations. The HETG-ACIS-S images reveal, for the first time, an X-ray knots along the inner ring and (perhaps) along the inward extension of the X-ray jet. Although complicated by instrumental effects and the brightness of the Crab Nebula, the spectrometric analysis shows systematic variations of the X-ray spectrum throughout the Nebula.

  1. Formation of the dark bays in the Crab optical synchrotron nebula - Is the Crab pulsar wind bubble interacting with its progenitor's wind?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Zhi-Yun; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    1992-01-01

    Models are presented for the formation of the two dark bays in the Crab optical synchrotron nebula, from which the optical synchrotron-emitting particles seem to be excluded. It is proposed that the bays are formed by the advance of the Crab pulsar's wind bubble into an ambient medium possessing a stratified density distribution with higher density in the plane of the bays than in other directions. The ambient density and degree of stratification required to produce the bays depends on whether the medium consists of a general interstellar medium, a progenitor stellar wind, or fast-moving supernova ejecta. In the case of an interstellar medium, the bays would be expected to move apart much more slowly than observed, and the required density would have to be implausibly high. It is concluded that the pulsar wind bubble is probably interacting with the slow wind from its progenitor, and it is shown that bays formed in this way agree with the observations reasonably well.

  2. Explosive reconnection of the double tearing mode in relativistic plasmas with application to the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pétri, J.; Takamoto, M.; Baty, H.; Zenitani, S.

    2015-01-01

    The Crab pulsar and its surrounding nebula is a well-known relic of a massive star that exploded in 1054 AD. The Crab nebula was generally believed to be a good standard candle in gamma rays. Recently, this view has been challenged by sudden increases in the gamma-ray flux in a narrow spectral band within a few hundred MeV. These flares are short but powerful; their duration is between a few hours and up to several days with a rising/falling time of a few hours/days. To date it is neither clear what mechanism powers these flares nor where exactly in the nebula they should be located. However, recent models seem to favor emission sites inside the nebula. In the present work, we study the magneto-hydrodynamic tearing instability occurring in a double current sheet configuration with application to the Crab flares. This is investigated by means of resistive relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic simulations. These put some constraints on the maximum Lorentz factor of the striped wind, Γ≲150 and on the localization of the emission region, r ≈ 50 rL where rL = c/Ω is the light-cylinder radius, c is the speed of light and Ω is the rotation speed of the pulsar. Sites close to but outside the light-cylinder are favored in our model.

  3. Pulsar Wind Nebulae, Space Velocities and Supernova Remnant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    The original proposal for this LTSA grant was for X-ray studies of pulsars, and especially pulsar wind nebulae and what they could tell us about pulsar properties, especially their space velocities. By any metric, this program has been very successful. No fewer than 14 papers on directly related topics (and several dozen more on related topics) have been published in refereed journals with the PI as lead or co-author, all observational results that have had significant impact on the field. These include the first X-ray detection of the "Duck" pulsar, a clear demonstration that estimated pulsar ages can be off by over an order of magnitude (via observations of the young supernova remnant G11.2-0.3) and the detection of the first pulsar wind nebula around a millisecond pulsar. These publications have also resulted in 4 press releases. Moreover, they also represent the thesis work of two PhD students at MIT (Froney Crawford and Mike Pivovaroff) and one postdoctoral fellow, Bryan Gaensler, now Assistant Professor at Harvard.

  4. X-ray studies of the termination shock of the pulsar wind in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mori, K.; Burrows, D.; Shibata, S.; Pavlov, G.; Hester, J.; Tsunemi, H.

    Chandra observations have discovered a long-sought termination shock of the pulsar wind in the Crab Nebula. The shock is barely seen in the optical wavelengths in contrast with the wisps, which emerge from the shock but can be seen in both the X-ray and optical. We present spectral and spatial analysis of the shock with Chandra. Especially, spectral information is obtained for the first time without being bothered by pile-up. Spectral analysis of other fine structures including "arcs" which are seen in north-eastern part of the torus is also shown. We discuss those results along with large scale spectral variations over the nebula.

  5. Faint X-Ray Structure in the Crab Pulsar Wind Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seward, F. D.; Tucker, W. H.; Fesen, R. A.

    2006-12-01

    We report on a Chandra observation of the Crab Nebula that gives the first clear view of the faint boundary of the Crab's X-ray-emitting pulsar wind nebula. There is structure in all directions. Fingers, loops, bays, and the south pulsar jet all indicate that either filamentary material or the magnetic field is controlling the relativistic electrons. In general, spectra soften as distance from the pulsar increases but do not change rapidly along linear features. This is particularly true for the pulsar jet. The termination of the jet is abrupt; the east side is close to an [O III] optical filament, which may be blocking propagation on this side. We argue that linear features have ordered magnetic fields and that the structure is determined by the synchrotron lifetime of particles diffusing perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field. We find no significant evidence for thermal X-rays inside the filamentary envelope.

  6. AGILE detection of enhanced gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavani, M.; Striani, E.; Bulgarelli, A.; Gianotti, F.; Trifoglio, M.; Pittori, C.; Verrecchia, F.; Argan, A.; Trois, A.; de Paris, G.; Vittorini, V.; D'Ammando, F.; Sabatini, S.; Piano, G.; Costa, E.; Donnarumma, I.; Feroci, M.; Pacciani, L.; Del Monte, E.; Lazzarotto, F.; Soffitta, P.; Evangelista, Y.; Lapshov, I.; Chen, A.; Giuliani, A.; Marisaldi, M.; Di Cocco, G.; Labanti, C.; Fuschino, F.; Galli, M.; Caraveo, P.; Mereghetti, S.; Perotti, F.; Pucella, G.; Rapisarda, M.; Vercellone, S.; Pellizzoni, A.; Pilia, M.; Barbiellini, G.; Longo, F.; Picozza, P.; Morselli, A.; Prest, M.; Lipari, P.; Zanello, D.; Cattaneo, P. W.; Rappoldi, A.; Giommi, P.; Santolamazza, P.; Lucarelli, F.; Colafrancesco, S.; Salotti, L.

    2010-09-01

    AGILE is detecting an increased gamma-ray flux from a source positionally consistent with the Crab Nebula. Integrating during the period 2010-09-19 00:10 UT to 2010-09-21 00:10 UT the AGILE-GRID detected enhanced gamma-ray emission above 100 MeV from a source at Galactic coordinates (l,b) = (184.6, -6.0) +/- 0.4 (stat.) +/- 0.1 (syst.) deg, and flux F > 500 e-8 ph/cm2/sec above 100 MeV, corresponding to an excess with significance above 4.4 sigma with respect to the average flux from the Crab nebula (F = (220 +/- 15)e-8 ph/cm^2/sec, Pittori et al., 2009, A&A, 506, 1563).

  7. Gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula: A case of relativistic reconnection?

    SciTech Connect

    Cerutti, B.; Werner, G. R. Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C.

    2014-05-15

    The Crab Nebula was formed after the collapse of a massive star about a thousand years ago, leaving behind a pulsar that inflates a bubble of ultra-relativistic electron-positron pairs permeated with magnetic field. The observation of brief but bright flares of energetic gamma rays suggests that pairs are accelerated to PeV energies within a few days; such rapid acceleration cannot be driven by shocks. Here, it is argued that the flares may be the smoking gun of magnetic dissipation in the Nebula. Using 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations, it is shown that the observations are consistent with relativistic magnetic reconnection, where pairs are subject to strong radiative cooling. The Crab flares may highlight the importance of relativistic magnetic reconnection in astrophysical sources.

  8. Very high energy gamma rays from the Crab nebula and pulsar

    SciTech Connect

    Kwok, P.W.

    1989-01-01

    This project is to search for very high energy (VHE) (10(exp 11) to 10(exp 14)eV) gamma rays from the Crab nebula and pulsar using the atmospheric Cherenkov imaging technique. The technique uses an array of 37 photomultiplier tubes to record the images of the Cherenkov light pulses generated by energetic particles in the air showers initiated by VHE gamma rays or charged cosmic rays. Gamma ray like events are selected from numerous cosmic ray events based on the predicted properties of the image, such as the size, shape, and orientation with respect to the axis of the detector. A steady weak flux of VHE gamma rays from the Crab is detected at high statistical significance (9 sigma), which is not usually achieved in VHE gamma ray astronomy. No strong evidence of pulsed emission is found when the same data is folded at the Crab pulsar's radio ephemeris. The angular resolution of the technique cannot separate the emission coming from the nebula from that from the pulsar. Although it is generally believed that the unpulsed emission is coming from the nebula, there may be an unpulsed component coming at only a couple of light cylinder radii away from the pulsar too. Using the outer gap model of pulsar, the spectrum is derived and is found to be compatible with the observations.

  9. A scanning modulation collimator observation of the high-energy X-ray source in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelling, R. M.; Paciesas, W. S.; Peterson, L. E.; Makishima, K.; Oda, M.

    1987-01-01

    Two-dimensional maps of the 22-64 keV emission from the Crab Nebula with an angular resolution of 15 arcsec has been synthesized. The maps are generated by application of a maximum entropy method operating on a series of one-dimensional scans obtained with a balloon-borne modulation collimator telescope. The two-dimensional size, shape and orientation of the hard X-ray nebula relative to the pulsar have been measured for the first time. The implications of these results for models of electron transport in the Crab are discussed, and the geometry of the observed X-ray nebula is related to other features of the Crab Nebula system.

  10. RAPID GAMMA-RAY FLUX VARIABILITY DURING THE 2013 MARCH CRAB NEBULA FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Mayer, M.; Buehler, R.; Hays, E.; Cheung, C. C.; Grove, J. E.; Dutka, M. S.; Kerr, M.; Ojha, R. E-mail: rolf.buehler@desy.de

    2013-10-01

    We report on a bright flare in the Crab Nebula detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The period of significantly increased luminosity occurred in 2013 March and lasted for approximately two weeks. During this period, we observed flux variability on timescales of approximately 5 hr. The combined photon flux above 100 MeV from the pulsar and its nebula reached a peak value of (12.5 ± 0.8) · 10{sup –6} cm{sup –2} s{sup –1} on 2013 March 6. This value exceeds the average flux by almost a factor of six and implies a ∼20 times higher flux for the synchrotron component of the nebula alone. This is the second brightest flare observed from this source. Spectral and temporal analysis of the LAT data collected during the outburst reveal a rapidly varying synchrotron component of the Crab Nebula while the pulsar emission remains constant in time.

  11. Detonative propagation and accelerative expansion of the Crab Nebula shock front.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yang; Law, Chung K

    2011-10-21

    The accelerative expansion of the Crab Nebula's outer envelope is a mystery in dynamics, as a conventional expanding blast wave decelerates when bumping into the surrounding interstellar medium. Here we show that the strong relativistic pulsar wind bumping into its surrounding nebula induces energy-generating processes and initiates a detonation wave that propagates outward to form the current outer edge, namely, the shock front, of the nebula. The resulting detonation wave, with a reactive downstream, then provides the needed power to maintain propagation of the shock front. Furthermore, relaxation of the curvature-induced reduction of the propagation velocity from the initial state of formation to the asymptotic, planar state of Chapman-Jouguet propagation explains the observed accelerative expansion. Potential richness in incorporating reactive fronts in the description of various astronomical phenomena is expected. PMID:22107499

  12. The Crab pulsar and its pulsar-wind nebula in the optical and infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tziamtzis, A.; Lundqvist, P.; Djupvik, A. A.

    2009-12-01

    Aims. We investigate the emission mechanism and evolution of pulsars that are associated with supernova remnants. Methods: We used imaging techniques in both the optical and near infrared, using images with very good seeing (≤0.primeprime6) to study the immediate surroundings of the Crab pulsar. In the case of the infrared, we took two data sets with a time window of 75 days to check for variability in the inner part of the Crab nebula. We also measure the spectral indices of all these wisps, the nearby knot, and the interwisp medium, using our optical and infrared data. We then compared the observational results with the existing theoretical models. Results: We report variability in the three nearby wisps located to the northwest of the pulsar and also in a nearby anvil wisp in terms of their structure, position, and emissivity within the time window of 75 days. All the wisps display red spectra with similar spectral indices (α_ν = -0.58 ± 0.08, α_ν = -0.63 ± 0.07, α_ν = -0.53 ± 0.08) for the northwest triplet. The anvil wisp (anvil wisp 1) has a spectral index of α_ν = -0.62 ± 0.10. Similarly, the interwisp medium regions also show red spectra similar to those of the wisps, with the spectral index being α_ν = -0.61 ± 0.08, α_ν = -0.50 ± 0.10, while the third interwisp region has a flatter spectrum with spectral α_ν = -0.49 ± 0.10. The inner knot has a spectral index of α_ν = -0.63 ± 0.02. Also, based on archival HST data and our IR data, we find that the inner knot remains stationary for a time period of 13.5 years. The projected average velocity relative to the pulsar for this period is ≲8 ~km s-1. Conclusions: By comparing the spectral indices of the structures in the inner Crab with the current theoretical models, we find that the Del Zanna et al. model for the synchrotron emission fits our observations, although the spectral index is at the flatter end of their modelled spectra. Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical

  13. DETECTING THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING OUTER SHELL OF THE CRAB NEBULA: WHERE TO LOOK

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Xiang; Ferland, G. J.; Baldwin, J. A.; Loh, E. D.; Richardson, C. T.

    2013-09-10

    We present a range of steady-state photoionization simulations, corresponding to different assumed shell geometries and compositions, of the unseen postulated rapidly expanding outer shell to the Crab Nebula. The properties of the shell are constrained by the mass that must lie within it, and by limits to the intensities of hydrogen recombination lines. In all cases the photoionization models predict very strong emissions from high ionization lines that will not be emitted by the Crab's filaments, alleviating problems with detecting these lines in the presence of light scattered from brighter parts of the Crab. The near-NIR [Ne VI] {lambda}7.652 {mu}m line is a particularly good case; it should be dramatically brighter than the optical lines commonly used in searches. The C IV {lambda}1549 doublet is predicted to be the strongest absorption line from the shell, which is in agreement with Hubble Space Telescope observations. We show that the cooling timescale for the outer shell is much longer than the age of the Crab, due to the low density. This means that the temperature of the shell will actually ''remember'' its initial conditions. However, the recombination time is much shorter than the age of the Crab, so the predicted level of ionization should approximate the real ionization. In any case, it is clear that IR observations present the best opportunity to detect the outer shell and so guide future models that will constrain early events in the original explosion.

  14. Exploration of the Kinked Jet in the Crab Nebula with Scaled Laboratory Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chikang

    2015-11-01

    X-ray images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory show that the South-East jet in the Crab nebula changes direction every few years. This remarkable phenomenon is also frequently observed for jets in other pulsar-wind nebulae and in other astrophysical objects. Numerical simulations suggest that it may be a consequence of current-driven, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities taking place in the jet, yet that is just a hypothesis without verification in controlled experiments. To that end, we recently conducted scaled laboratory experiments that reproduced this phenomenon. In these experiments, a supersonic plasma jet was generated in the collision of two laser-produced plasma plumes, and this jet was radiographed from the side using 15-MeV and 3-MeV protons. It was observed that if self-generated toroidal magnetic fields around the jet were strong enough, they triggered plasma instabilities that caused substantial deflections throughout the jet propagation, mimicking the kinked jet structure seen in the Crab Nebula. We have modeled these laboratory experiments with comprehensive two- and three-dimensional numerical simulations, which in conjunction with the experiments provide compelling evidence that we have an accurate model of the most important physics of magnetic fields and MHD instabilities in the observed jet in the Crab Nebula. The work described here was performed in part at the LLE National Laser User's Facility (NLUF), and was supported in part by US DOE (Grant No. DE-FG03- 03SF22691), LLNL (subcontract Grant No. B504974) and LLE (subcontract Grant No. 412160-001G).

  15. Monitoring of the Crab Nebula with Chandra and Other Observatories Including HST

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2014-01-01

    Subsequent to the detections AGILE and Fermi/LAT of the gamma-ray flares from the Crab Nebula in the fall of 2010, this team has been monitoring the X-Ray emission from the Crab on a regular basis. X-Ray observations have taken place typically once per month when viewing constraints allow and more recently four times per year. There have been notable exceptions, e.g. in April of 2011 and March 2013 when we initiated a set of Chandra Target of opportunity observations in conjunction with bright gamma-ray flares. For much of the time regular HST observations were made in conjunction with the Chandra observations. The aim of this program to further characterize, in depth, the X-Ray and optical variations that take place in the nebula, and by so doing determine the regions which contribute to the harder X-ray variations and, if possible, determine the precise location within the Nebula of the origin of the gamma-ray flares. As part of this project members of the team have developed Singular Value Decomposition techniques to sequences of images in order to more accurately characterize features. The current status of the project will be presented highlighting studies of the inner knot and possible correlations with the flares.

  16. A SEARCH FOR ENHANCED VERY HIGH ENERGY GAMMA-RAY EMISSION FROM THE 2013 MARCH CRAB NEBULA FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Aliu, E.; Errando, M.; Archambault, S.; Aune, T.; Benbow, W.; Cerruti, M.; Berger, K.; Bird, R.; Bouvier, A.; Buckley, J. H.; Bugaev, V.; Byrum, K.; Chen, X.; Ciupik, L.; Connolly, M. P.; Cui, W.; Feng, Q.; Dumm, J.; Falcone, A.; Federici, S. E-mail: gtrichards@gatech.edu; and others

    2014-01-20

    In 2013 March, a flaring episode from the Crab Nebula lasting ∼2 weeks was detected by Fermi-LAT (Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope). The Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) provides simultaneous observations throughout this period. During the flare, Fermi-LAT detected a 20 fold increase in flux above the average synchrotron flux >100 MeV seen from the Crab Nebula. Simultaneous measurements with VERITAS are consistent with the non-variable long-term average Crab Nebula flux at TeV energies. Assuming a linear correlation between the very high energy flux change >1 TeV and the flux change seen in the Fermi-LAT band >100 MeV during the period of simultaneous observations, the linear correlation factor can be constrained to be at most 8.6 × 10{sup –3} with 95% confidence.

  17. Observations of the Crab Nebula with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2012-01-01

    The Crab nebula and its associated pulsar have been the target of thousands of observations at all wavelengths over the years. Nevertheless, the system continues to provide new surprises and observational insights into its physical mechanisms. We shall discuss a number of new results we have obtained through Chandra observations. Results include highly detailed pulse-phase spectroscopy which poses challenges to our understanding of pulsar emission mechanisms, a new and precise look at the pulsar geometry, a study of the spatial and temporal variation(s) of the southern jet, and the results of a search for the site of the recently-discovered gamma ]ray flares. We have been using the Chandra X -Ray observatory to monitor the Crab on a monthly cadence since just after the 2010 September gamma ]ray flare. We were fortunate to trigger series of preplanned target of opportunity observations during the 2011 April flare.

  18. Observations of the Crab Nebula with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2012-01-01

    The Crab Nebula and its pulsar has been the subject of a number of detailed observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The superb angular resolution of Chandra s high-resolution telescope has made possible numerous remarkable results. Here we describe a number of specific studies of the Crab that I and my colleagues have undertaken. We discuss the geometry of the system, which indicates that the "inner X-ray ring", typically identified with the termination shock of the pulsar s particle wind, is most likely not in the equatorial plane of the pulsar. Other topics are the northern wisps and their evolution with time; the characterization of features in the jet to the southeast; pulse-phase spectroscopy and possible correlations with the features at other wavelengths, particularly the optical polarization; and a search for correlations of the X-ray flux with the recently-discovered gamma -ray flares.

  19. Resolving the Crab Nebula with Direct Hard X-Ray Imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swartz, Douglas A.; Ramsey, Brian D.; Tennant, Allyn F.; Dietz, Kurtis L.; Apple, Jeff A.; Gaskin, Jessica A.; Weisskopf, Martin

    2008-01-01

    We report the first direct hard (25--60 keV) X-ray imaging observation of the Crab Nebula that resolves structure to approximately 0.25 pc. The observation was performed over a 1.4 hour period during a balloon flight from Ft. Sumner, NM, on 2007 May 27. The source was detected in the energy band above the atmospheric cutoff at approx.25 keV and below the mirror graze angle cutoff at approx.60 keV. The image shows elongation about 25 degrees E of N in the direction along the plane of the torus (and perpendicular to the jet axis) with a slight surface-brightness enhancement NE of the pulsar. The spectrum within a 1.7 arcminute radius region centered on the Crab pulsar can be fitted with a Gamma=2 power law absorbed by an atmospheric column consistent with the balloon altitude at the time of observation.

  20. New Results from an Old Friend: The Crab Nebula and its Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2011-01-01

    The Crab nebula and its associated pulsar have been the target of thousands of observations at all wavelengths over the years. Nevertheless, the system continues to provide new surprises and observational insights into its physical mechanisms. We shall discuss a number of new results we have obtained through Chandra observations. Results include highly detailed pulse-phase spectroscopy which poses challenges to our understanding of pulsar emission mechanisms, a new and precise look at the pulsar geometry, the results of a search for the site of the recently-discovered gamma-ray flares, and a study of the spatial and temporal variation(s) of the southern jet.

  1. A recent change in the optical and γ-ray polarization of the Crab nebula and pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moran, P.; Kyne, G.; Gouiffès, C.; Laurent, P.; Hallinan, G.; Redfern, R. M.; Shearer, A.

    2016-03-01

    We report on observations of the polarization of optical and γ-ray photons from the Crab nebula and pulsar system using the Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP), the Hubble Space Telescope, Advanced Camera for Surveys and the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory satellite (INTEGRAL). These, when combined with other optical polarization observations, suggest that the polarized optical emission and γ-ray polarization changes in a similar manner. A change in the optical polarization angle has been observed by this work, from 109.5 ± 0.7° in 2005 to 85.3 ± 1.4° in 2012. On the other hand, the γ-ray polarization angle changed from 115 ± 11° in 2003-2007 to 80 ± 12° in 2012-2014. Strong flaring activities have been detected in the Crab nebula over the past few years by the high-energy γ-ray missions Agile and Fermi, and magnetic reconnection processes have been suggested to explain these observations. The change in the polarized optical and γ-ray emission of the Crab nebula/pulsar as observed, for the first time, by GASP and INTEGRAL may indicate that reconnection is possibly at work in the Crab nebula. We also report, for the first time, a non-zero measure of the optical circular polarization from the Crab pulsar+knot system.

  2. GLOBAL SPECTRAL ENERGY DISTRIBUTION OF THE CRAB NEBULA IN THE PROSPECT OF THE PLANCK SATELLITE POLARIZATION CALIBRATION

    SciTech Connect

    MacIas-Perez, J. F.; Mayet, F.; Aumont, J.

    2010-03-01

    Within the framework of the Planck satellite polarization calibration, we present a study of the Crab Nebula spectral energy distribution (SED) over more than six decades in frequency ranging from 1 to 10{sup 6} GHz (from 299 to 2.99 x 10{sup -4} mm). The Planck satellite mission observes the sky from 30 to 857 GHz (from 9.99 to 0.3498 mm) and therefore we focus on the millimeter region. We use radio and submillimeter data from the WMAP satellite between 23 and 94 GHz (from 13 to 3.18 mm), from the Archeops balloon experiment between 143 (2.1 mm) and 545 GHz (0.55 mm), and a compendium of other Crab Nebula observations. The Crab SED is compared to models including three main components: synchrotron that is responsible for the emission at low and high frequencies, dust that explains the excess of flux observed by the IRAS satellite, and an extra component on the millimeter regime. From this analysis, we conclude that the unpolarized emission of the Crab Nebula at microwave and millimeter wavelengths is the same synchrotron emission as the one observed in the radio domain. Therefore, we expect the millimeter emission of the Crab Nebula to be polarized with the same degree of polarization and orientation as the radio emission. We set upper limits on the possible errors induced by any millimeter extra component on the reconstruction of the degree and angle of polarization at the percent level as a maximum. This result strongly supports the choice by the Planck collaboration of the Crab Nebula emission for performing polarization cross-checks in the range 30 (299 mm) to 353 GHz (0.849 mm).

  3. Far-ultraviolet observations of the Crab Nebula using the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, William P.; Long, Knox S.; Vancura, Olaf; Bowers, Charles W.; Conger, Sarah; Davidsen, Arthur F.; Kriss, Gerard A.; Henry, Richard B. C.

    1992-01-01

    Observations of the FUV spectrum of the central portion of the Crab Nebula SNR using the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) aboard the Astro-1 space shuttle mission in December 1990 are reported. The C IV 1549-A emission line shows two resolved components representing the front and back sides of the shell expanding at roughly +/- 1100 km/s. The He II 1640-A emission line shows only a blueshifted component corresponding to the near side of the shell. The HUT observation is compared to optical emission-line imagery and to archival IUE observations. This comparison indicates that a distribution emission component, consisting of either a number of individually faint filaments or a diffuse component, produces the bulk of the emission seen by HUT. A grid of photoionization models for the Crab Nebula filaments is calculated to infer the range of limits. The differing UV line ratios observed for these components indicates that varying carbon and/or He abundances are present in the observed material.

  4. Results of a Deep Chandra Observation of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Becker, W.; Elsner, R.; Kahn, S.; Kolodziejczak, J.; Murray, S.; ODell, S.; Paerels, F.; Shibazaki, N.; Swartz, D.

    2000-01-01

    The Crab Nebula and pulsar were observed for a total of 150 ksec with the LETG/HRC-S combination aboard the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in 2000, January. One of the principal aims of the experiment was to study the emission of from the pulsar as a function of pulse phase. Neutron stars are believed to be formed with core temperatures of T(sub c) approx. 10(sup 11) K. As the pulsar is the youngest known neutron star with an age of only 940 yrs, it should be possible to observe thermal emission from the hot stellar surface which in turn constrains equations of state. The pulsar, on the other hand, is a powerful non-thermal emitter, powering an X-ray bright synchrotron nebula which, in Einstein and ROSAT observations, overshadowed the fainter thermal surface emission. Making use of the high angular resolution provided by Chandra we were able to detect X-rays from the Crab-pulsar at all pulse phases. We discuss whether this detection is indeed of thermal emission or of a faint synchrotron component of the pulsed emission from the magnetosphere. We further report on dynamical effects observed in the pulsar-wind outflow and the analysis of the LETG spectral data, especially near the oxygen edge. The results of the spectral analysis has interesting implications for the composition of the interstellar medium.(c) 2000.: American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved

  5. Results of a Deep Chandra Observation of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Becker, W.; Elsner, R.; Kahn, S.; Kolodziejczak, J.; Murray, S.; ODell, S.; Paerels, F.; Shibazaki, N.; Swartz, D.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Crab Nebula and pulsar were observed for a total of 150 ksec with the LETG/HRC-S combination aboard the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in 2000, January. One of the principal aims of the experiment was to study the emission of from the pulsar as a function of pulse phase. Neutron stars are believed to be formed with core temperatures of 10(exp 11). As the pulsar is the youngest known neutron star with an age of only 940 yrs, it should be possible to observe thermal emission from the hot stellar surface which in turn constrains equations of state. The pulsar, on the other hand, is a powerful non-thermal emitter, powering an X-ray bright synchrotron nebula which, in Einstein and ROSAT observations, overshadowed the fainter thermal surface emission. Making use of the high angular resolution provided by Chandra we were able to detect X-rays from the Crab-pulsar at all pulse phases. We discuss whether this detection is indeed of thermal emission or of a faint synchrotron component of the pulsed emission from the magnetosphere. We further report on dynamical effects observed in the pulsar-wind outflow and the analysis of the LETG spectral data, especially near the oxygen edge. The results of the spectral analysis has interesting implications for the composition of the interstellar medium.

  6. Results of a Deep Chandra Observation of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Becker, W.; Elsner, R. F.; Juda, M.; Kolodziejczak, J.; Murray, S. S.; ODell, S.; Paerels, F.; Shibazaki, N.; Swartz, D.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Crab Nebula and pulsar were observed for a total of 150 ksec with the LETG/HRC-S combination aboard the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in 2000, January and February. One of the principal aims of the experiment was to study the emission from the pulsar as a function of pulse phase. Neutron stars are believed to be formed with core temperatures of 10(exp 11) K. As the pulsar is the best studied of the young known neutron stars with an age of only 940 yrs, it should be possible to observe thermal emission from the hot stellar surface which in turn constrains equations of state. The pulsar, on the other hand, is a powerful non-thermal emitter, powering an X-ray bright synchrotron nebula which, in Einstein and ROSAT observations, overshadowed the fainter thermal surface emission. Making use of the high angular resolution provided by Chandra we were able to detect X-rays from the Crab-pulsar at all pulse phases. We discuss whether this detection is indeed of thermal emission or of a faint synchrotron component of the pulsed emission from the magnetosphere. We further comment on dynamical effects observed in the pulsar-wind outflow and the analysis of the LETG spectral data, especially near the oxygen edge.

  7. Detection of the Crab Nebula By UV Imaging of TeV Gamma Ray Air Showers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chantell, M.

    1994-12-01

    With successful detection of TeV gamma ray fluxes from the Crab Nebula and the AGN, MRK421, the Whipple Observatory Gamma Ray Collaboration has demonstrated the sensitivity of the Cherenkov imaging technique in ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. This technique uses an array of 109 blue-sensitive photomultipliers to image the Cherenkov radiation produced when TeV gamma and cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere. One major limitation of this technique is the requirement of absolutely dark skies during observations. The presence of the moon rules out the possibility of making observations because of the high sensitivity of the photomultipliers used in the camera. To address this limitation we have developed a camera which utilizes solar-blind photomultpliers with primary sensitivity from 220nm to 280nm allowing observations even in the presence of the full moon. After two years of UV observations of the Crab Nebula we have demonstrated the ability to discriminate gamma rays from the hadronic background with an energy threshold of approximately 1 TeV. The development of this camera makes it possible to increase the duty cycle of the 10 meter telescope allowing observations in bright time. Additionally the insensitivity to background star light allows this camera to observe sources in bright regions of the galactic plane, where high background light levels have limited the usefulness of the visible camera.

  8. THE CRAB NEBULA SUPER-FLARE IN 2011 APRIL: EXTREMELY FAST PARTICLE ACCELERATION AND GAMMA-RAY EMISSION

    SciTech Connect

    Striani, E.; Tavani, M.; Cardillo, M; Piano, G.; Donnarumma, I.; Vittorini, V.; Trois, A.; Costa, E.; Argan, A.; De Paris, G.; Bulgarelli, A.; Pittori, C.; Verrecchia, F.; Weisskopf, M.; Tennant, A.; Barbiellini, G.; Caraveo, P.; Chen, A. W.

    2011-11-01

    We report on the extremely intense and fast gamma-ray flare above 100 MeV detected by AGILE from the Crab Nebula in mid-April 2011. This event is the fourth of a sequence of reported major gamma-ray flares produced by the Crab Nebula in the period 2007/mid-2011. These events are attributed to strong radiative and plasma instabilities in the inner Crab Nebula, and their properties are crucial for theoretical studies of fast and efficient particle acceleration up to 10{sup 15} eV. Here we study the very rapid flux and spectral evolution of the event that on 2011 April 16 reached the record-high peak flux of F = (26 {+-} 5) x 10{sup -6} photons cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} with a rise-time timescale that we determine to be in the range 6-10 hr. The peak flaring gamma-ray spectrum reaches a distinct maximum near 500 MeV with no substantial emission above 1 GeV. The very rapid rise time and overall evolution of the Crab Nebula flare strongly constrain the acceleration mechanisms and challenge MHD models. We briefly discuss the theoretical implications of our observations.

  9. Fermi LAT Observations of the Crab Nebula During the Exceptional April 2011 Outburst

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hays, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    The Crab Nebula, formerly thought to be steady in gamma rays, shows unexpected and occasionally dramatic variability in high-energy gamma rays. The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on Fermi recorded several strong outbursts, including dedicated pointed observations of the brightest yet seen, a spectacular flare in April 2011. These observations provide a particularly detailed look at the temporal and spectral characteristics of the nebula during the flare. The LAT data show an additional component in the spectral energy distribution that peaks at a maximum of $375\\pm26\\mathrm{MeV}$. In the probable scenario that this component is synchrotron emission, the electrons are accelerated to extreme energies that are difficult to reconcile with the very rapid change in flux and the expectation for acceleration processes and conditions occurring within the pulsar wind nebula. The physical location and mechanism driving the flares remains undetermined despite observations across the spectrum made by a variety of instruments including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Very Large Array. I will present timing and spectral studies of the high-energy gamma-ray data, discuss implications for the origin of the flares, and highlight preparations for the next major flare.

  10. On the Origin and Physics of Gamma Flares in Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machabeli, George; Rogava, Andria; Shapakidze, David

    2015-11-01

    We consider parametric generation of electrostatic waves in the magnetosphere of the pulsar PSR0531. The suggested mechanism allows us to convert the pulsar rotational energy into the energy of Langmuir waves. The maximum growth rate is achieved in the “superluminal” area, where the phase velocity of perturbations exceeds the speed of light. Therefore, electromagnetic waves do not damp on particles. Instead, they create plasmon condensate, which is carried out outside of the pulsar magnetosphere and reaches the Crab Nebula. It is shown that the transfer of the energy of the plasmon condensate from the light cylinder to the active region of the nebula happens practically without losses. Unlike the plasma of the magnetosphere, the one of the nebula contains ions, i.e., it may sustain modulation instability, that leads to the collapse of the Langmuir condensate. Langmuir wave collapse, in turn, leads to the acceleration of the distribution function particles. Furthermore, the processes that lead to self-trapping of the synchrotron radiation are discussed. The self-trapping results in the growth of the radiation intensity, which manifests itself observationally as a flare. The condition for the self-trapping onset is derived, showing that if the phenomenon takes place at 100 MeV, then it does not happen at lower (or higher) energies. This specific kind of higher-/lower-energy cutoff could explain why when we observe the flare at 100 MeV that no enhanced emission is observed at lower/higher energies!

  11. FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF THE CRAB PULSAR AND NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Bechtol, K.; Berenji, B.; Blandford, R. D.; Bloom, E. D.; Borgland, A. W.; Atwood, W. B.; Axelsson, M.; Baldini, L.; Bellazzini, R.; Bregeon, J.; Brez, A.; Ballet, J.; Baring, M. G.; Bastieri, D.; Bonamente, E.; Brigida, M. E-mail: mazziotta@ba.infn.i E-mail: lemoine@cenbg.in2p3.f

    2010-01-10

    We report on gamma-ray observations of the Crab Pulsar and Nebula using 8 months of survey data with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The high quality light curve obtained using the ephemeris provided by the Nancay and Jodrell Bank radio telescopes shows two main peaks stable in phase with energy. The first gamma-ray peak leads the radio main pulse by (281 +- 12 +- 21) mus, giving new constraints on the production site of non-thermal emission in pulsar magnetospheres. The first uncertainty is due to gamma-ray statistics, and the second arises from the rotation parameters. The improved sensitivity and the unprecedented statistics afforded by the LAT enable precise measurement of the Crab Pulsar spectral parameters: cut-off energy at E{sub c} = (5.8 +- 0.5 +- 1.2) GeV, spectral index of GAMMA = (1.97 +- 0.02 +- 0.06) and integral photon flux above 100 MeV of (2.09 +- 0.03 +- 0.18) x 10{sup -6} cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}. The first errors represent the statistical error on the fit parameters, while the second ones are the systematic uncertainties. Pulsed gamma-ray photons are observed up to approx 20 GeV which precludes emission near the stellar surface, below altitudes of around 4-5 stellar radii in phase intervals encompassing the two main peaks. A detailed phase-resolved spectral analysis is also performed: the hardest emission from the Crab Pulsar comes from the bridge region between the two gamma-ray peaks while the softest comes from the falling edge of the second peak. The spectrum of the nebula in the energy range 100 MeV-300 GeV is well described by the sum of two power laws of indices GAMMA{sub sync} = (3.99 +- 0.12 +- 0.08) and GAMMA{sub IC} = (1.64 +- 0.05 +- 0.07), corresponding to the falling edge of the synchrotron and the rising edge of the inverse Compton (IC) components, respectively. This latter, which links up naturally with the spectral data points of Cherenkov experiments, is well reproduced via IC scattering from standard magnetohydrodynamic

  12. Measurement of the Crab Nebula spectrum over three decades in energy with the MAGIC telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleksić, J.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Antoranz, P.; Babic, A.; Bangale, P.; Barrio, J. A.; Becerra González, J.; Bednarek, W.; Bernardini, E.; Biasuzzi, B.; Biland, A.; Blanch, O.; Bonnefoy, S.; Bonnoli, G.; Borracci, F.; Bretz, T.; Carmona, E.; Carosi, A.; Colin, P.; Colombo, E.; Contreras, J. L.; Cortina, J.; Covino, S.; Da Vela, P.; Dazzi, F.; De Angelis, A.; De Caneva, G.; De Lotto, B.; de Oña Wilhelmi, E.; Delgado Mendez, C.; Doert, M.; Dominis Prester, D.; Dorner, D.; Doro, M.; Einecke, S.; Eisenacher, D.; Elsaesser, D.; Fonseca, M. V.; Font, L.; Frantzen, K.; Fruck, C.; Galindo, D.; García López, R. J.; Garczarczyk, M.; Garrido Terrats, D.; Gaug, M.; Godinović, N.; González Muñoz, A.; Gozzini, S. R.; Hadasch, D.; Hanabata, Y.; Hayashida, M.; Herrera, J.; Hildebrand, D.; Hose, J.; Hrupec, D.; Idec, W.; Kadenius, V.; Kellermann, H.; Kodani, K.; Konno, Y.; Krause, J.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; La Barbera, A.; Lelas, D.; Lewandowska, N.; Lindfors, E.; Lombardi, S.; López, M.; López-Coto, R.; López-Oramas, A.; Lorenz, E.; Lozano, I.; Makariev, M.; Mallot, K.; Maneva, G.; Mankuzhiyil, N.; Mannheim, K.; Maraschi, L.; Marcote, B.; Mariotti, M.; Martínez, M.; Mazin, D.; Menzel, U.; Miranda, J. M.; Mirzoyan, R.; Moralejo, A.; Munar-Adrover, P.; Nakajima, D.; Niedzwiecki, A.; Nilsson, K.; Nishijima, K.; Noda, K.; Nowak, N.; Orito, R.; Overkemping, A.; Paiano, S.; Palatiello, M.; Paneque, D.; Paoletti, R.; Paredes, J. M.; Paredes-Fortuny, X.; Persic, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Prandini, E.; Preziuso, S.; Puljak, I.; Reinthal, R.; Rhode, W.; Ribó, M.; Rico, J.; Rodriguez Garcia, J.; Rügamer, S.; Saggion, A.; Saito, T.; Saito, K.; Satalecka, K.; Scalzotto, V.; Scapin, V.; Schultz, C.; Schweizer, T.; Shore, S. N.; Sillanpää, A.; Sitarek, J.; Snidaric, I.; Sobczynska, D.; Spanier, F.; Stamatescu, V.; Stamerra, A.; Steinbring, T.; Storz, J.; Strzys, M.; Takalo, L.; Takami, H.; Tavecchio, F.; Temnikov, P.; Terzić, T.; Tescaro, D.; Teshima, M.; Thaele, J.; Tibolla, O.; Torres, D. F.; Toyama, T.; Treves, A.; Uellenbeck, M.; Vogler, P.; Wagner, R. M.; Zanin, R.; Horns, D.; Martín, J.; Meyer, M.

    2015-03-01

    The MAGIC stereoscopic system collected 69 hours of Crab Nebula data between October 2009 and April 2011. Analysis of this data sample using the latest improvements in the MAGIC stereoscopic software provided an unprecedented precision of spectral and night-by-night light curve determination at gamma rays. We derived a differential spectrum with a single instrument from 50 GeV up to almost 30 TeV with 5 bins per energy decade. At low energies, MAGIC results, combined with Fermi-LAT data, show a flat and broad Inverse Compton peak. The overall fit to the data between 1 GeV and 30 TeV is not well described by a log-parabola function. We find that a modified log-parabola function with an exponent of 2.5 instead of 2 provides a good description of the data (χred2 = 35 / 26). Using systematic uncertainties of the MAGIC and Fermi-LAT measurements we determine the position of the Inverse Compton peak to be at (53 ±3stat +31syst -13syst) GeV, which is the most precise estimation up to date and is dominated by the systematic effects. There is no hint of the integral flux variability on daily scales at energies above 300 GeV when systematic uncertainties are included in the flux measurement. We consider three state-of-the-art theoretical models to describe the overall spectral energy distribution of the Crab Nebula. The constant B-field model cannot satisfactorily reproduce the VHE spectral measurements presented in this work, having particular difficulty reproducing the broadness of the observed IC peak. Most probably this implies that the assumption of the homogeneity of the magnetic field inside the nebula is incorrect. On the other hand, the time-dependent 1D spectral model provides a good fit of the new VHE results when considering a 80 μG magnetic field. However, it fails to match the data when including the morphology of the nebula at lower wavelengths.

  13. Structure of relativistic shocks in pulsar winds: A model of the wisps in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallant, Yves A.; Arons, Jonathan

    1994-01-01

    We propose a model of a optical 'wisps' of the Crab Nebula, features observed in the nebular synchrotron surface brightness near the central pulsar, as manifestations of the internal structure of the shock terminating the pulsar wind. We assume that this wind is composed of ions and a much denser plasma of electrons and positrons, frozen together to a toroidal magnetic field and flowing relativistically. We construct a form of solitary wave model of the shock structure in which we self-consistently solve for the ion orbits and the dynamics of the relativistically hot, magnetized e(+/-) background flow. We ignore dispersion in the ion energies, and we treat the pairs as an adiabatic fluid. The synchrotron emission enhancements, observed as the wisps, are then explained as the regions where reflection of the ions in the self-consistent magnetic field causes compressions of the e(+/-).

  14. GAMMA-RAY ACTIVITY IN THE CRAB NEBULA: THE EXCEPTIONAL FLARE OF 2011 APRIL

    SciTech Connect

    Buehler, R.; Blandford, R. D.; Charles, E.; Chiang, J.; Funk, S.; Kerr, M.; Massaro, F.; Romani, R. W.; Scargle, J. D.; Baldini, L.; Baring, M. G.; Belfiore, A.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; D'Ammando, F.; Dermer, C. D.; Grove, J. E.; Harding, A. K.; Hays, E.; Mazziotta, M. N.; Tennant, A. F. E-mail: rdb3@stanford.edu; and others

    2012-04-10

    The Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi satellite observed a gamma-ray flare in the Crab Nebula lasting for approximately nine days in April of 2011. The source, which at optical wavelengths has a size of Almost-Equal-To 11 lt-yr across, doubled its gamma-ray flux within eight hours. The peak photon flux was (186 {+-} 6) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -7} cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} above 100 MeV, which corresponds to a 30-fold increase compared to the average value. During the flare, a new component emerged in the spectral energy distribution, which peaked at an energy of (375 {+-} 26) MeV at flare maximum. The observations imply that the emission region was likely relativistically beamed toward us and that variations in its motion are responsible for the observed spectral variability.

  15. Adventures in Modern Time Series Analysis: From the Sun to the Crab Nebula and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scargle, Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    With the generation of long, precise, and finely sampled time series the Age of Digital Astronomy is uncovering and elucidating energetic dynamical processes throughout the Universe. Fulfilling these opportunities requires data effective analysis techniques rapidly and automatically implementing advanced concepts. The Time Series Explorer, under development in collaboration with Tom Loredo, provides tools ranging from simple but optimal histograms to time and frequency domain analysis for arbitrary data modes with any time sampling. Much of this development owes its existence to Joe Bredekamp and the encouragement he provided over several decades. Sample results for solar chromospheric activity, gamma-ray activity in the Crab Nebula, active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts will be displayed.

  16. Gamma-Ray Activity in the Crab Nebula: The Exceptional Flare of April 2011

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buehler, R.; Scargle, J. D.; Blandford, R. D.; Baldini, L; Baring, M. G.; Belfiore, A.; Charles, E.; Chiang, J.; DAmmando, F.; Dermer, C. D.; Funk, S,; Grove, J. E.; Harding, A. K.; Hays, E.; Kerr, M.; Massaro, F.; Mazziotta, M. N.; Romani, R. W.; SazParkinson, P, M.; Tennant, A. F.; Weisskopf, M. C.

    2012-01-01

    The Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi satellite observed a gamma-ray flare in the Crab nebula lasting for approximately nine days in April of 2011. The source, which at optical wavelengths has a size of approximately 11 ly across, doubled its gamma-ray flux within eight hours. The peak photon flux was (186 +/- 6) x 10(exp -7) /square cm/s above 100 MeV, which corresponds to a 30-fold increase compared to the average value. During the flare, a new component emerged in the spectral energy distribution, which peaked at an energy of (375 +/- 26) MeV at flare maximum. The observations imply that the emission region was relativistically beamed toward us and that variations in its motion are responsible for the observed spectral variability.

  17. Three-dimensional relativistic pair plasma reconnection with radiative feedback in the Crab Nebula

    SciTech Connect

    Cerutti, B.; Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C. E-mail: greg.werner@colorado.edu E-mail: mitch@jila.colorado.edu

    2014-02-20

    The discovery of rapid synchrotron gamma-ray flares above 100 MeV from the Crab Nebula has attracted new interest in alternative particle acceleration mechanisms in pulsar wind nebulae. Diffuse shock-acceleration fails to explain the flares because particle acceleration and emission occur during a single or even sub-Larmor timescale. In this regime, the synchrotron energy losses induce a drag force on the particle motion that balances the electric acceleration and prevents the emission of synchrotron radiation above 160 MeV. Previous analytical studies and two-dimensional (2D) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations indicate that relativistic reconnection is a viable mechanism to circumvent the above difficulties. The reconnection electric field localized at X-points linearly accelerates particles with little radiative energy losses. In this paper, we check whether this mechanism survives in three dimension (3D), using a set of large PIC simulations with radiation reaction force and with a guide field. In agreement with earlier works, we find that the relativistic drift kink instability deforms and then disrupts the layer, resulting in significant plasma heating but few non-thermal particles. A moderate guide field stabilizes the layer and enables particle acceleration. We report that 3D magnetic reconnection can accelerate particles above the standard radiation reaction limit, although the effect is less pronounced than in 2D with no guide field. We confirm that the highest-energy particles form compact bunches within magnetic flux ropes, and a beam tightly confined within the reconnection layer, which could result in the observed Crab flares when, by chance, the beam crosses our line of sight.

  18. RECONNECTION-POWERED LINEAR ACCELERATOR AND GAMMA-RAY FLARES IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Cerutti, BenoIt; Begelman, Mitchell C. E-mail: benoit.cerutti@colorado.edu

    2011-08-20

    The recent discovery of day-long gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula, presumed to be synchrotron emission by PeV (10{sup 15} eV) electrons in milligauss magnetic fields, presents a strong challenge to particle acceleration models. The observed photon energies exceed the upper limit ({approx}100 MeV) obtained by balancing the acceleration rate and synchrotron radiation losses under standard conditions where the electric field is smaller than the magnetic field. We argue that a linear electric accelerator, operating at magnetic reconnection sites, is able to circumvent this difficulty. Sufficiently energetic electrons have gyroradii so large that their motion is insensitive to small-scale turbulent structures in the reconnection layer and is controlled only by large-scale fields. We show that such particles are guided into the reconnection layer by the reversing magnetic field as they are accelerated by the reconnection electric field. As these electrons become confined within the current sheet, they experience a decreasing perpendicular magnetic field that may drop below the accelerating electric field. This enables them to reach higher energies before suffering radiation losses and hence to emit synchrotron radiation in excess of the 100 MeV limit, providing a natural resolution to the Crab gamma-ray flare paradox.

  19. The synchrotron bays of the Crab Nebula - A magnetic structure associated with a presupernova circumstellar disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesen, Robert A.; Martin, Crystal L.; Shull, J. M.

    1992-01-01

    We investigate the nature of two large conical indentations in the Crab Nebula's synchrotron emission, commonly known as the east and west 'bays'. Optical images spanning nearly nine decades (1899-1988) reveal the bays to be long-lasting remnant features. Proper motions of the bays away from the remnant's center of expansion are consistent with their locations near the SN progenitor site in A.D. 1054. Based on their morphologies and polarization properties, the bays appear to be portions of a torus encircling the remnant's center of expansion. The nebular magnetic field wrapped around this torus blocks the pulsar's relativistic particles, resulting in the observed lack of synchrotron emission. We propose that this torus is the result of a presupernova disklike ejection not less than 0.1 solar mass by the Crab progenitor, similar to the ring around SN 1987 A. A 0.5 solar mass disk of He-rich filaments along the equatorial plane is probably also related to presupernova mass loss, which might explain the wide range of abundances seen among filaments.

  20. DETECTION AND IMAGING OF THE CRAB NEBULA WITH THE NUCLEAR COMPTON TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Bandstra, M. S.; Bellm, E. C.; Boggs, S. E.; Perez-Becker, D.; Zoglauer, A.; Chang, H.-K.; Chiu, J.-L.; Liang, J.-S.; Chang, Y.-H.; Liu, Z.-K.; Hung, W.-C.; Huang, M.-H. A.; Chiang, S. J.; Run, R.-S.; Lin, C.-H.; Amman, M.; Luke, P. N.; Jean, P.; Von Ballmoos, P.; Wunderer, C. B.

    2011-09-01

    The Nuclear Compton Telescope (NCT) is a balloon-borne Compton telescope designed for the study of astrophysical sources in the soft gamma-ray regime (200 keV-20 MeV). NCT's 10 high-purity germanium crossed-strip detectors measure the deposited energies and three-dimensional positions of gamma-ray interactions in the sensitive volume, and this information is used to restrict the initial photon to a circle on the sky using the Compton scatter technique. Thus NCT is able to perform spectroscopy, imaging, and polarization analysis on soft gamma-ray sources. NCT is one of the next generation of Compton telescopes-the so-called compact Compton telescopes (CCTs)-which can achieve effective areas comparable to the Imaging Compton Telescope's with an instrument that is a fraction of the size. The Crab Nebula was the primary target for the second flight of the NCT instrument, which occurred on 2009 May 17 and 18 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Analysis of 29.3 ks of data from the flight reveals an image of the Crab at a significance of 4{sigma}. This is the first reported detection of an astrophysical source by a CCT.

  1. Detection of gamma-ray lines from the direction of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owens, A.; Myers, R. M.; Thompson, M. G.

    1985-01-01

    The Crab Nebula and its associated pulsar NP0531+21 were observed during a balloon flight of the Durham MK1 high resolution spectrometer on June 6, 1981. The data indicate two significant line features of energies of 404.7 and 1049.8 keV with intensities of (7.2 + or - 2.1) x 0.001 and (12.0 + or - 0.5) x 0.01/5. After subtracting instrumental resolution, the widths of these lines were determined to be (3.5 + or - 1.4) keV and (6.3 + or - 1.6) keV at 404.7 and 1049.8 keV respectively. A third line at 78.8 keV was detected as a transient event with a peak intensity of (1.1 + or - 0.3) x 0.01 photons sq cm/s and a width 1.5 keV. It is shown that all three line features are consistent with a point source located at the Crab.

  2. Gamma-Ray Observations of the Crab Nebula: A Study of the Synchro-Compton Spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jager, O. C.; Harding, A. K.; Michelson, P. F.; Nel, H. I.; Nolan, P. L.; Sreekumar, P.; Thompson, D. J.

    1996-01-01

    Phase I and II EGRET observations of the Crab Nebula establish the synchro-Compton unpulsed spectrum between approximately 70 MeV and 30 GeV. The soft 70-150 MeV spectrum appears to be a steepened extension of the 1-30 MeV COMPTEL spectrum recently reported by Much et al., indicating that the nebular synchrotron spectrum cuts off with an e-folding energy E0 ˜ 26 MeV. This energy is consistent with the characteristic synchrotron energy hυmax ˜ (3/4π )2hc/r0 = 25 MeV (with r0 being the classical electron radius) expected for the synchrotron burnoff if electrons are accelerated on a timescale equal to the electron gyro- period in the inner nebula. The 70-150 MeV emission in the exponential tail of this cutoff decreased by a factor of about 2 between 1991 and 1993, which is consistent with an approximately 25% reduction in E0 over that time. A steady hard, approximately E-1.85 photon spectrum, added to the synchrotron component, is required for energies up to 10 GeV. This spectrum steepens toward the observed TeV γ-ray spectrum and may represent the expected nebular inverse-Compton (IC) component, which allows a measurement of the mean nebular field strength: from EGRET we obtain barB ˜ 0.13 mG for the radio nebula, whereas the various reported TeV observations correspond to a larger barB ˜ 0.26 mG for the smaller optical nebula. The observation of the IC component also allows us to obtain a lower limit to the time-averaged injection rate Ndot > 4 x 1040 s-1 for all electrons/positrons into the nebula. The combined EGRET/TeV IC spectrum appears to be inconsistent with the assumption of a spherically symmetric particle-dominated pulsar wind with parameter σ ˜ 0.003 (see the work of Kennel & Coroniti).

  3. Near-Infrared, Kilosecond Variability of the Wisps And Jet in the Crab Pulsar Wind Nebula

    SciTech Connect

    Melatos, Andrew; Scheltus, D.; Whiting, M.T.; Eikenberry, S.S.; Romani, R.W.; Rigaut, F.; Spitkovsky, A.; Arons, J.; Payne, D.J.B.; /Melbourne U.

    2006-01-11

    We present a time-lapse sequence of 20 near-infrared (J- and K'-band) snapshots of the central 20'' x 20'' of the Crab pulsar wind nebula, taken at sub-arcsecond resolution with the Hokupa'a/QUIRC adaptive optics camera on the Gemini North Telescope, and sampled at intervals of 10 minutes and 24 hours. It is observed that the equatorial wisps and polar knots in the termination shock of the pulsar wind appear to fluctuate in brightness on kilosecond time-scales. Maximum flux variations of {+-}24 {+-} 4 and {+-}14 {+-} 4 per cent relative to the mean (in 1.2 ks) are measured for the wisps and knots respectively, with greatest statistical significance in J band where the nebula background is less prominent. The J and K' flux densities imply different near-infrared spectra for the nonthermal continuum emission from the wisps and outermost polar knot (''sprite''), giving F{sub {nu}} {proportional_to} {nu}{sup -0.56{+-}0.12} and F{sub {nu}} {proportional_to} {nu}{sup -0.21{+-}0.13} respectively. The data are compared with existing optical and UV photometry and applied to constrain theories of the variability of the wisps (relativistic ion-cyclotron instability) and knots (relativistic fire hose instability).

  4. HST observations of the nebula around the central compact object in the Vela Jr. supernova remnant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignani, R. P.; de Luca, A.; Pellizzoni, A.

    2009-12-01

    Context: A handful of young (a few thousand years) supernova remnants (SNRs) host point-like X-ray sources, dubbed central compact objects (CCOs), which are thought to be radio-silent isolated neutron stars formed by the supernova explosion. So far, no CCO has been firmly detected at other wavelengths. However, ground-based observation in the Hα band detected a nebula around CXO J085201.4-461753, the CCO in the Vela Jr. SNR. The nebula has also been detected in deep R-band observations performed with the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Interestingly, both its extension and its flux in the R band are consistent with those measured in Hα, suggesting that the nebula spectrum is dominated by line emission, possibly produced by a velocity-driven bow-shock in the interstellar medium (ISM) or by its photo-ionisation from the neutron star. Aims: The aim of this work is to resolve the morphology of the Hα nebula around the CCO to verify the proposed interpretations. Methods: We performed high-resolution imaging observations of the nebula with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) through the 656N filter, almost exactly centred on the rest wavelength of the Hα line. Results: Surprisingly enough, we did not detect the nebula in our WFPC2 image down to a 3 σ flux limit of ~3 × 10-15 erg cm-2 s-1. This limit is a factor of 10 fainter than the nebula flux measured in the discovery ground-based observations which were, however, performed with redder and broader Hα filters. Conclusions: The non-detection of the nebula in the narrower and bluer WFPC2 656N filter suggests that the peak of the emission might actually be at longer wavelengths. One possibility, compatible with the bow-shock scenario only, is that the Hα line is red-shifted by ~10-60 Å due to the neutron star motion with a radial velocity 450 ⪉ Vr ⪉ 2700 km s-1. The other possibility is that the nebula is a knot of [NII] emission (λ = 6583.6 Å) unrelated to CXO J085201

  5. G54.1 + 0.3 - A new Crab-like supernova remnant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Velusamy, T.; Becker, R. H.

    1988-01-01

    High-resolution multifrequency observations with the VLA and OSRT of the small-diameter flat-spectrum radio source G54.1 + 0.3 are presented. The filled-center brightness distribution, strong polarization at 6 cm, and flat radio spectrum (alpha of about -0.13) from 0.327 to 5 GHz confirm that G54.1 + 0.3 is a Crab-like supernova remnant.

  6. Estimates of the Compton backscattering feature at approximately 150 keV in the Crab Nebula pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bednarek, W.; Cremonesi, O.; Treves, A.

    1994-04-01

    The Compton backscattering feature at approximately 150 keV from the Crab Nebula pulsar is evaluated in a picture where the 440 keV emission is interpreted as due to positron annihilation in the pulsar crust. Monte Carlo simulations indicate a broad feature the intensity of which is expected in the range 10-5 - 10-4 ph/sq cm/s. The possibility of detection of the feature is discussed.

  7. The major upgrade of the MAGIC telescopes, Part II: A performance study using observations of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleksić, J.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Antoranz, P.; Babic, A.; Bangale, P.; Barceló, M.; Barrio, J. A.; Becerra González, J.; Bednarek, W.; Bernardini, E.; Biasuzzi, B.; Biland, A.; Bitossi, M.; Blanch, O.; Bonnefoy, S.; Bonnoli, G.; Borracci, F.; Bretz, T.; Carmona, E.; Carosi, A.; Cecchi, R.; Colin, P.; Colombo, E.; Contreras, J. L.; Corti, D.; Cortina, J.; Covino, S.; Da Vela, P.; Dazzi, F.; De Angelis, A.; De Caneva, G.; De Lotto, B.; de Oña Wilhelmi, E.; Delgado Mendez, C.; Dettlaff, A.; Dominis Prester, D.; Dorner, D.; Doro, M.; Einecke, S.; Eisenacher, D.; Elsaesser, D.; Fidalgo, D.; Fink, D.; Fonseca, M. V.; Font, L.; Frantzen, K.; Fruck, C.; Galindo, D.; García López, R. J.; Garczarczyk, M.; Garrido Terrats, D.; Gaug, M.; Giavitto, G.; Godinović, N.; González Muñoz, A.; Gozzini, S. R.; Haberer, W.; Hadasch, D.; Hanabata, Y.; Hayashida, M.; Herrera, J.; Hildebrand, D.; Hose, J.; Hrupec, D.; Idec, W.; Illa, J. M.; Kadenius, V.; Kellermann, H.; Knoetig, M. L.; Kodani, K.; Konno, Y.; Krause, J.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; La Barbera, A.; Lelas, D.; Lemus, J. L.; Lewandowska, N.; Lindfors, E.; Lombardi, S.; Longo, F.; López, M.; López-Coto, R.; López-Oramas, A.; Lorca, A.; Lorenz, E.; Lozano, I.; Makariev, M.; Mallot, K.; Maneva, G.; Mankuzhiyil, N.; Mannheim, K.; Maraschi, L.; Marcote, B.; Mariotti, M.; Martínez, M.; Mazin, D.; Menzel, U.; Miranda, J. M.; Mirzoyan, R.; Moralejo, A.; Munar-Adrover, P.; Nakajima, D.; Negrello, M.; Neustroev, V.; Niedzwiecki, A.; Nilsson, K.; Nishijima, K.; Noda, K.; Orito, R.; Overkemping, A.; Paiano, S.; Palatiello, M.; Paneque, D.; Paoletti, R.; Paredes, J. M.; Paredes-Fortuny, X.; Persic, M.; Poutanen, J.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Prandini, E.; Puljak, I.; Reinthal, R.; Rhode, W.; Ribó, M.; Rico, J.; Rodriguez Garcia, J.; Rügamer, S.; Saito, T.; Saito, K.; Satalecka, K.; Scalzotto, V.; Scapin, V.; Schultz, C.; Schlammer, J.; Schmidl, S.; Schweizer, T.; Shore, S. N.; Sillanpää, A.; Sitarek, J.; Snidaric, I.; Sobczynska, D.; Spanier, F.; Stamerra, A.; Steinbring, T.; Storz, J.; Strzys, M.; Takalo, L.; Takami, H.; Tavecchio, F.; Tejedor, L. A.; Temnikov, P.; Terzić, T.; Tescaro, D.; Teshima, M.; Thaele, J.; Tibolla, O.; Torres, D. F.; Toyama, T.; Treves, A.; Vogler, P.; Wetteskind, H.; Will, M.; Zanin, R.

    2016-01-01

    MAGIC is a system of two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes located in the Canary island of La Palma, Spain. During summer 2011 and 2012 it underwent a series of upgrades, involving the exchange of the MAGIC-I camera and its trigger system, as well as the upgrade of the readout system of both telescopes. We use observations of the Crab Nebula taken at low and medium zenith angles to assess the key performance parameters of the MAGIC stereo system. For low zenith angle observations, the standard trigger threshold of the MAGIC telescopes is ∼ 50 GeV. The integral sensitivity for point-like sources with Crab Nebula-like spectrum above 220 GeV is (0.66 ± 0.03)% of Crab Nebula flux in 50 h of observations. The angular resolution, defined as the σ of a 2-dimensional Gaussian distribution, at those energies is ≲ 0.07°, while the energy resolution is 16%. We also re-evaluate the effect of the systematic uncertainty on the data taken with the MAGIC telescopes after the upgrade. We estimate that the systematic uncertainties can be divided in the following components: < 15% in energy scale, 11%-18% in flux normalization and ± 0.15 for the energy spectrum power-law slope.

  8. Observations of the Crab Nebula, NGC 4151, Cyg X1 and Cyg X3 at medium gamma ray energies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zanrosso, E. M.; Long, J. L.; Zych, A. D.; Gibbons, R.; White, R. S.; Dayton, B.

    1980-01-01

    The paper analyzes observations of the Crab Nebula, NGC 4151, Cyg X1, and Cyg X3 taken with the UCR gamma ray telescope at a residual atmospheric depth of about 3.5 g/sq cm on a balloon launched from Palestine, Texas, 4.5 GV, 2000 local time LT (0100 UT), on September 29, 1978. The data consists of continuous observations from 0430 LT (0930 UT) on September 30 to 1800 LT (2300 UT) on October 1, 1979. A flux increase is observed at the right ascension of the Crab Nebula within about a 10 min uncertainty of telescope source position determination, eliminating the SAS-2, CG 195+4, and the two COS-B sources in the antigalactic center direction as the origin of the gamma rays. The total flux of gamma rays for the Crab Nebula from 1.2 to 10 MeV is (6.1 + or - 1.5) x 10 to the -3rd photons/sq cm-s, with an upper limit at 10-20 MeV of 7 x 10 to the -5th photons/sq cm-s. Results for the NGC 4151, Cyg X1, and Cyg X3 are also discussed and flux upper limits are given.

  9. Long-Term Time Variability in the X-Ray Pulse Shape of the Crab Nebula Pulsar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fazio, Giovanni G.

    2000-01-01

    This is the final performance report for our grant 'Long-Term Time Variability in the X-Ray Pulse Shape of the Crab Nebula Pulsar.' In the first year of this grant, we received the 50,000-second ROSAT (German acronym for X-ray satellite) High Resolution Images (HRI) observation of the Crab Nebula pulsar. We used the data to create a 65-ms-resolution pulse profile and compared it to a similar pulse profile obtained in 1991. No statistically significant differences were found. These results were presented at the January 1998 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Since then, we have performed more sensitive analyses to search for potential changes in the pulse profile shape between the two data sets. Again, no significant variability was found. In order to augment this long (six-year) baseline data set, we have analyzed archival observations of the Crab Nebula pulsar with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). While these observations have shorter time baselines than the ROSAT data set, their higher signal-to-noise offers similar sensitivity to long-term variability. Again, no significant variations have been found, confirming our ROSAT results. This work was done in collaboration with Prof. Stephen Eikenberry, Cornell University. These analyses will be included in Cornell University graduate student Dae-Sik Moon's doctoral thesis.

  10. The interstellar medium in the direction of the Crab Nebula - Reconciling soft X-ray and radio observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ride, S. K.; Walker, A. B. C., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    The total soft X-ray photoabsorption cross section of the interstellar medium (ISM) in the direction of the Crab Nebula is computed on the basis of a two-phase model of the ISM. This cross section is used to reanalyze Copernicus data on the X-ray spectrum of the Crab between 0.7 and 1.5 keV. The total hydrogen column density along the line of sight to that nebula is found to be approximately 2.6 by 10 to the 21st power H atoms/sq cm. This result is evaluated in light of the two-phase model of the ISM, and the predictions based on the X-ray data are compared with results of radio and UV observations. A discrepancy between the radio and X-ray measurements of the hydrogen column density is resolved by noting that 21-cm absorption measurements sample only the neutral hydrogen in clouds while X-ray measurements are sensitive to all forms of hydrogen in both cloud and intercloud regions. It is suggested that roughly 50% of the hydrogen in the direction of the Crab Nebula is in clouds and that 85% of this hydrogen is neutral and atomic.

  11. EXTREME PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN MAGNETIC RECONNECTION LAYERS: APPLICATION TO THE GAMMA-RAY FLARES IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Cerutti, Benoit; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Begelman, Mitchell C. E-mail: uzdensky@colorado.edu

    2012-02-20

    The gamma-ray space telescopes AGILE and Fermi detected short and bright synchrotron gamma-ray flares at photon energies above 100 MeV in the Crab Nebula. This discovery suggests that electron-positron pairs in the nebula are accelerated to PeV energies in a milligauss magnetic field, which is difficult to explain with classical models of particle acceleration and pulsar wind nebulae. We investigate whether particle acceleration in a magnetic reconnection layer can account for the puzzling properties of the flares. We numerically integrate relativistic test-particle orbits in the vicinity of the layer, including the radiation reaction force, and using analytical expressions for the large-scale electromagnetic fields. As they get accelerated by the reconnection electric field, the particles are focused deep inside the current layer where the magnetic field is small. The electrons suffer less from synchrotron losses and are accelerated to extremely high energies. Population studies show that, at the end of the layer, the particle distribution piles up at the maximum energy given by the electric potential drop and is focused into a thin fan beam. Applying this model to the Crab Nebula, we find that the emerging synchrotron emission spectrum peaks above 100 MeV and is close to the spectral shape of a single electron. The flare inverse Compton emission is negligible and no detectable emission is expected at other wavelengths. This mechanism provides a plausible explanation for the gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula and could be at work in other astrophysical objects such as relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei.

  12. Star Trek: The Search for the First Alleged Crab Supernova Rock Art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krupp, E. C.

    2014-01-01

    Since the 1950s, star/crescent combinations in prehistoric rock art in the American Southwest have become broadly accepted as eyewitness records of the Crab supernova explosion, a spectacular event visible in 1054 A.D. For more than three decades, images of this "supernova" rock art have routinely appeared in astronomy textbooks, in popular articles, on websites, and in television programs. As this Crab supernova interpretation became more fashionable, Griffith Observatory Director E.C. Krupp began a long-term effort to inspect each of these sites in person. His field work eventually led him, in 2008, to the two sites in northern Arizona that started this cottage industry in supernova rock art, sites that had been lost and had not been revisited for 50 years. Developments in the study of rock art, Pueblo Indian iconography, and Pueblo ceremonialism have permitted a greater appreciation of the role of the sky in the ancient Southwest. The best known star/crescent sites are surveyed to clarify the discipline required for cross-disciplinary research. Through this exploration of an aspect of the relationship between astronomy and culture, the presentation acknowledges the intent of American Institute of Physics Andrew Gemant Award.

  13. The Radio Properties and Magnetic Field Configuration in the Crab-Like Pulsar Wind Nebula G54.1+0.3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Cornelia C.; Wang, Q. Daniel; Lu, Fangjun; Clubb, Kelsey I.

    2010-02-01

    We present a multifrequency radio investigation of the Crab-like pulsar wind nebula (PWN) G54.1+0.3 using the Very Large Array. The high resolution of the observations reveals that G54.1+0.3 has a complex radio structure which includes filamentary and loop-like structures that are magnetized, a diffuse extent similar to the associated diffuse X-ray emission. But the radio and X-ray structures in the central region differ strikingly, indicating that they trace very different forms of particle injection from the pulsar and/or particle acceleration in the nebula. No spectral index gradient is detected in the radio emission across the PWN, whereas the X-ray emission softens outward in the nebula. The extensive radio polarization allows us to image in detail the intrinsic magnetic field, which is well-ordered and reveals that a number of loop-like filaments are strongly magnetized. In addition, we determine that there are both radial and toroidal components to the magnetic field structure of the PWN. Strong mid-infrared (IR) emission detected in Spitzer Space Telescope data is closely correlated with the radio emission arising from the southern edge of G54.1+0.3. In particular, the distributions of radio and X-ray emission compared with the mid-IR emission suggest that the PWN may be interacting with this interstellar cloud. This may be the first PWN where we are directly detecting its interplay with an interstellar cloud that has survived the impact of the supernova explosion associated with the pulsar's progenitor.

  14. Science Applications of the RULLI Camera: Photon Thrust, General Relativity and the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, D.; Thompson, D.; Buck, S.; Des Georges, R.; Ho, C.; Remelius, D.; Shirey, B.; Gabriele, T.; Gamiz, V.; Ulibarri, L.; Hallada, M.; Szymanski, P.

    RULLI (Remote Ultra-Low Light Imager) is a unique single photon imager with very high (microsecond) time resolution and continuous sensitivity, developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This technology allows a family of astrophysical and satellite observations that were not feasible in the past. We will describe the results of the analysis of recent observations of the LAGEOS II satellite and the opportunities expected for future observations of the Crab nebula. The LAGEOS/LARES experiments have measured the dynamical General Relativistic effects of the rotation of the earth, the Lense-Thirring effect. The major error source is photon thrust and a required knowledge of the orientation of the spin axis of LAGEOS. This information is required for the analysis of the observations to date, and for future observations to obtain more accurate measurements of the Lense-Thirring effect, of deviations from the inverse square law, and of other General Relativistic effects. The rotation of LAGEOS I is already too slow for traditional measurement methods and Lageos II will soon suffer a similar fate. The RULLI camera can provide new information and an extension of the lifetime for these measurements. We will discuss the 2004 LANL observations of LAGEOS at Starfire Optical Range, the unique software processing methods that allow the high accuracy analysis of the data (the FROID algorithm) and the transformation that allows the use of such data to obtain the orientation of the spin axis of the satellite. We are also planning future observations, including of the nebula surrounding the Crab Pulsar. The rapidly rotating pulsar generates enormous magnetic fields, a synchrotron plasma and stellar winds moving at nearly the velocity of light. Since the useful observations to date rely only on observations of the beamed emission when it points toward the earth, most descriptions of the details of the processes have been largely theoretical. The RULLI camera's continuous

  15. VARIABLE GAMMA-RAY EMISSION FROM THE CRAB NEBULA: SHORT FLARES AND LONG 'WAVES'

    SciTech Connect

    Striani, E.; Tavani, M.; Vittorini, V.; Donnarumma, I.; Argan, A.; Cardillo, M.; Costa, E.; Del Monte, E.; Pacciani, L.; Piano, G.; Sabatini, S.; Bulgarelli, A.; Ferrari, A.; Pellizzoni, A.; Pittori, C.; and others

    2013-03-01

    Gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula has been recently shown to be unsteady. In this paper, we study the flux and spectral variability of the Crab above 100 MeV on different timescales ranging from days to weeks. In addition to the four main intense and day-long flares detected by AGILE and Fermi-LAT between 2007 September and 2012 September, we find evidence for week-long and less intense episodes of enhanced gamma-ray emission that we call 'waves'. Statistically significant 'waves' show timescales of 1-2 weeks, and can occur by themselves or in association with shorter flares. We present a refined flux and spectral analysis of the 2007 September-October gamma-ray enhancement episode detected by AGILE that shows both 'wave' and flaring behavior. We extend our analysis to the publicly available Fermi-LAT data set and show that several additional 'wave' episodes can be identified. We discuss the spectral properties of the 2007 September 'wave'/flare event and show that the physical properties of the 'waves' are intermediate between steady and flaring states. Plasma instabilities inducing 'waves' appear to involve spatial distances l {approx} 10{sup 16} cm and enhanced magnetic fields B {approx} (0.5-1) mG. Day-long flares are characterized by smaller distances and larger local magnetic fields. Typically, the deduced total energy associated with the 'wave' phenomenon (E{sub w} {approx} 10{sup 42} erg, where E{sub w} is the kinetic energy of the emitting particles) is comparable with that associated to the flares, and can reach a few percent of the total available pulsar spin-down energy. Most likely, flares and waves are the product of the same class of plasma instabilities that we show acting on different timescales and radiation intensities.

  16. Variable Gamma-Ray Emission from the Crab Nebula: Short Flares and Long "Waves"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Striani, E.; Tavani, M.; Vittorini, V.; Donnarumma, I.; Giuliani, A.; Pucella, G.; Argan, A.; Bulgarelli, A.; Colafrancesco, S.; Cardillo, M.; Costa, E.; Del Monte, E.; Ferrari, A.; Mereghetti, S.; Pacciani, L.; Pellizzoni, A.; Piano, G.; Pittori, C.; Rapisarda, M.; Sabatini, S.; Soffitta, P.; Trifoglio, M.; Trois, A.; Vercellone, S.; Verrecchia, F.

    2013-03-01

    Gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula has been recently shown to be unsteady. In this paper, we study the flux and spectral variability of the Crab above 100 MeV on different timescales ranging from days to weeks. In addition to the four main intense and day-long flares detected by AGILE and Fermi-LAT between 2007 September and 2012 September, we find evidence for week-long and less intense episodes of enhanced gamma-ray emission that we call "waves." Statistically significant "waves" show timescales of 1-2 weeks, and can occur by themselves or in association with shorter flares. We present a refined flux and spectral analysis of the 2007 September-October gamma-ray enhancement episode detected by AGILE that shows both "wave" and flaring behavior. We extend our analysis to the publicly available Fermi-LAT data set and show that several additional "wave" episodes can be identified. We discuss the spectral properties of the 2007 September "wave"/flare event and show that the physical properties of the "waves" are intermediate between steady and flaring states. Plasma instabilities inducing "waves" appear to involve spatial distances l ~ 1016 cm and enhanced magnetic fields B ~ (0.5-1) mG. Day-long flares are characterized by smaller distances and larger local magnetic fields. Typically, the deduced total energy associated with the "wave" phenomenon (Ew ~ 1042 erg, where Ew is the kinetic energy of the emitting particles) is comparable with that associated to the flares, and can reach a few percent of the total available pulsar spin-down energy. Most likely, flares and waves are the product of the same class of plasma instabilities that we show acting on different timescales and radiation intensities.

  17. An Optical Study of the Circumstellar Environment Around the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fesen, Robert A.; Shull, J. Michael; Hurford, Alan P.

    1997-01-01

    Long-slit spectra of two peripheral regions around the Crab Nebula show no H(alpha) emission down to a flux level of 1.5 x 10(exp -7)erg/sq cm s sr (0.63 Rayleigh), corresponding to an emission measure limit of 4.2 cm(sup - 6) pc (3(sigma)) assuming A(sub V)= 1.6(sup m) and T(sub e)=7000 K. This is below the flux levels reported by Murdin & Clark (Nature, 294, 543 (198 1)) for an H(alpha) halo around the Crab. Narrow H(beta) emission as described by Murdin (MNRAS, 269, 89 (1994)) is detected but appears to be Galactic emission unassociated with the remnant. A review of prior searches indicates no convincing observational evidence to support either a high- or low-velocity envelope around the remnant. Spectral scans confirm a well-organized, N-S expansion asymmetry of the filaments with a approx. 500 km/s central velocity constriction as described by MacAlpine et al. (ApJ, 342, 364 (1989)) and Lawrence et (it. (AJ, 109, 2635 (1995)] but questioned by Hester et al. (ApJ, 448, 240 (1995)). The velocity pinching appears to coincide with an cast-west chain of bright [O III] and helium-rich filaments. This expansion asymmetry might be the result of ejecta interaction with a disk of circumstellar matter, but such a model may be inconsistent with H and He filament abundances in the velocity constriction zone. A re-analysis of the remnant's total mass suggests that the filaments contain 4.6 +/- 1.8 M(solar) in ionized and neutral cas, about twice that of earlier estimates. For a 10M(solar) progenitor, this suggests that approx.equals 4M(solar) remains to be detected in an extended halo or wind.

  18. Pulsar Wind Nebulae, Space Velocities and Supernova Remnant Associations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    I am pleased to be able to report significant progress in my research relevant to my LTSA grant. This progress I believe is demonstrated by a long list of publications in 2002, as detailed below. I summarize the research results my collaborators and I obtained in 2002. First, my group announced the major discovery of soft-gamma-repeater-like X-ray bursts from the anomalous X-ray pulsars lE-1048.1$-$5937 and lE-2259+586, using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. This result provides an elegant and long-sought-after confirmation that this class of objects and the soft gamma repeaters share a common nature, namely that they are magnetars. Magnetars are a novel manifestation of young neutron stars, quite different from conventional Crab-like radio pulsars. This discovery was made as part of our regular monitoring program, among the goals of which was to detect such outbursts.

  19. Numerical simulations of composite supernova remnants for small σ pulsar wind nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorster, M. J.; Ferreira, S. E. S.; de Jager, O. C.; Djannati-Ataï, A.

    2013-03-01

    Context. Composite supernova remnants consist of a pulsar wind nebula located inside a shell-type remnant. The presence of a shell has implications on the evolution of the nebula, although the converse is generally not true. Aims: The purpose of this paper is two-fold. The first aim is to determine the effect of the pulsar's initial luminosity and spin-down rate, the supernova ejecta mass, and density of the interstellar medium on the evolution of a spherically-symmetric, composite supernova remnant expanding into a homogeneous medium. The second aim is to investigate the evolution of the magnetic field in the pulsar wind nebula when the the composite remnant expands into a non-uniform interstellar medium. Methods: The Euler conservation equations for inviscid flow, together with the magnetohydrodynamic induction law in the kinematic limit, are solved numerically for a number of scenarios where the ratio of magnetic to particle energy is σ < 0.01. The simulations in the first part of the paper is solved in a one-dimensional configuration. In the second part of the paper, the effect of an inhomogeneous medium on the evolution is studied using a two-dimensional, axisymmetric configuration. Results: It is found that the initial spin-down luminosity and density of the interstellar medium has the largest influence on the evolution of the pulsar wind nebula. The spin-down time-scale of the pulsar only becomes important when this value is smaller than the time needed for the reverse shock of the shell remnant to reach the outer boundary of the nebula. For a remnant evolving in a non-uniform medium, the magnetic field along the boundary of the nebula will evolve to a value that is larger than the magnetic field in the interior. If the inhomogeneity of the interstellar medium is enhanced, while the spin-down luminosity is decreased, it is further found that a magnetic "cloud" is formed in a region that is spatially separated from the position of the pulsar.

  20. On the implications of recent observations of the inner knot in the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Yajie; Blandford, Roger D.

    2015-12-01

    Recent observations of the Crab nebula (Rudy et al.) have maintained its reputation for high-energy astrophysical enlightenment and its use as a test-bed for theories of the behaviour of magnetized, relativistic plasma. In particular, new observations of the inner knot located 0.65 arcsec SE from the pulsar confirm that it is compact, elongated transversely to the symmetry axis and curved concave towards the pulsar. 60 per cent polarization has been measured along the symmetry axis (Moran et al.). The knot does not appear to be involved in the gamma-ray flares. The new observations both reinforce the interpretation of the knot as dissipation of the pulsar wind at a strong shock and challenge the details of existing models of this process. In particular, it is argued that the compactness, high polarization, and curvature are difficult to reconcile with simple relativistic shock models. Alternative possibilities include deflection of the outflow ahead of the shock and spatial variation in which the knot is interpreted as a caustic. Some future observations are proposed and new theoretical investigations are suggested.

  1. A STATISTICAL MODEL FOR THE {gamma}-RAY VARIABILITY OF THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan Qiang; Yin Pengfei; Bi Xiaojun; Wu Xuefeng; Zhang Bing; Liu Siming

    2011-04-01

    A statistical scenario is proposed to explain the {gamma}-ray variability and flares of the Crab Nebula, which were observed recently by the Fermi/LAT. In this scenario electrons are accelerated in a series of knots, whose sizes follow a power-law distribution. These knots presumably move outward from the pulsar and have a distribution in the Doppler boost factor. The maximal electron energy is assumed to be proportional to the size of the knot. Fluctuations at the highest energy end of the overall electron distribution will result in variable {gamma}-ray emission via the synchrotron process in the {approx}100 MeV range. Since highly boosted larger knots are rarer than smaller knots, the model predicts that the variability of the synchrotron emission increases with the photon energy. We realize such a scenario with a Monte Carlo simulation and find that the model can reproduce both the two {gamma}-ray flares over a period of {approx}1 year and the monthly scale {gamma}-ray flux fluctuations as observed by the Fermi/LAT. The observed {gamma}-ray spectra in both the steady and flaring states are also well reproduced.

  2. Image of the Crab Nebula Taken by the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    This is an x-ray image of the Crab Nebula taken with the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2/Einstein Observatory. The image is demonstrated by a pulsar, which appears as a bright point due to its pulsed x-ray emissions. The strongest region of diffused emissions comes from just northwest of the pulsar, and corresponds closely to the region of brightest visible-light emission. The HEAO-2, the first imaging and largest x-ray telescope built to date, was capable of producing actual photographs of x-ray objects. Shortly after launch, the HEAO-2 was nicknamed the Einstein Observatory by its scientific experimenters in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein, whose concepts of relativity and gravitation have influenced much of modern astrophysics, particularly x-ray astronomy. The HEAO-2, designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center, was launched aboard an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle on November 13, 1978.

  3. Chandra Detection of a Pulsar Wind Nebula Associated With Supernova Remnant 3C 396

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olbert, C. M.; Keohane, J. W.; Arnaud, K. A.; Dyer, K. K.; Reynolds, S. P.; Safi-Harb, S.

    2003-01-01

    We present a 100 ks observation of the Galactic supernova remnant 3C396 (G39.2-0.3) with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory that we compare to a 20cm map of the remnant from the Very Large Array. In the Chandra images, a nonthermal nebula containing an embedded pointlike source is apparent near the center of the remnant which we interpret as a synchrotron pulsar wind nebula surrounding a yet undetected pulsar. From the 2-10 keV spectrum for the nebula (N(sub H) = 5.3 plus or minus 0.9 x 10(exp 22) per square centimeter, GAMMA =1.5 plus or minus 0.3) we derive an unabsorbed x-ray flux of S(sub z)=1.62 x 10(exp -12) erg per square centimeter per second, and from this we estimate the spin-down power of the neutron star to be E(sup dot) = 7.2 x 10(exp 36) ergs per second. The central nebula is morphologically complex, showing bent, extended structure. The radio and X-ray shells of the remnant correlate poorly on large scales, particularly on the eastern half of the remnant, which appears very faint in X-ray images. At both radio and X-ray wavelengths the western half of the remnant is substantially brighter than the east.

  4. Neutrino Analysis of the September 2010 Crab Nebula Flare and Time-integrated Constraints on Neutrino Emission From the Crab Using IceCube

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stamatikos, M.; Abbasi, R.; Abdou, Y.; Abu-Zayyad, T.; Adams, J.; Aguliar, J. A.; Ahlers, M.; Altmann, D.; Andeen, K.; Auffenberg, J.; Bai, X.; Baker, M.; Barwick, S. W.; Bay, R.; Alba, J. L. Bazo; Beattie, K.; Beatty, J. J.; Bechet, S.; Becker, J. K.; Becker, K. -H.; Benabderrahmane, M. L.; BenZvi, SW.; Berdermann, J.; Berghaus, P.; Berley, D.

    2012-01-01

    We present the results for a search of high-energy muon neutrinos with the IceCube detector in coincidence with the Crab nebula flare reported on September 2010 by various experiments. Due to the unusual flaring state of the otherwise steady source we performed a prompt analysis of the 79-string configuration data to search for neutrinos that might be emitted along with the observed gamma-rays. We performed two different and complementary data selections of neutrino events in the time window of 10 days around the flare. One event selection is optimized for discovery of E(sub nu)(sup -2) neutrino spectrum typical of 1st order Fermi acceleration. A similar event selection has also been applied to the 40-string data to derive the time-integrated limits to the neutrino emission from the Crab [35]. The other event selection was optimized for discovery of neutrino spectra with softer spectral index and TeV energy cut-offs as observed for various galactic sources in gamma-rays. The 90% CL best upper limits on the Crab flux during the 10 day flare are 4.73 x 10(exp -11) per square centimeter per second TeV (sup -1) for an E(sub nu) (sup -2) neutrino spectrum and 2.50 x 10(exp -10) per square centimeter per second TeV(sup -1) for a softer neutrino spectra of E(sub nu)(sup -2.7), as indicated by Fermi measurements during the flare. IceCube has also set a time-integrated limit on the neutrino emission of the Crab using 375.5 days of livetime of the 40-string configuration data. This limit is compared to existing models of neutrino production from the Crab and its impact on astrophysical parameters is discussed. The most optimistic predictions of some models are already rejected by the IceCube neutrino telescope with more than 90% CL.

  5. Radio observations of the Crab-like supernova remnant 3C 58. I. Total intensity observations

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, S.P.; Aller, H.D.

    1988-04-01

    The Crab-like supernova remnant 3C 58 was observed with the VLA at frequencies of 1446 and 4886 MHz, with resolutions of 2.0 and 2.45 arcsec, respectively. It is found that 3C 58 has a considerably larger extent than previously realized, particularly at the eastern and western edges and above and below the central bulge. Some parts of the periphery are markedly confined while others are not; some confined-edge regions are slightly limb brightened. The fainter outer envelope contains extensive filamentation as do the brighter central regions. The filament profiles are nearly identical at 1446 and 4886 MHz. 33 references.

  6. Observations of supernova remnants and pulsar wind nebulae at gamma-ray energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewitt, John W.; Lemoine-Goumard, Marianne

    2015-08-01

    In the past few years, gamma-ray astronomy has entered a golden age thanks to two major breakthroughs: Cherenkov telescopes on the ground and the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard the Fermi satellite. The sample of supernova remnants (SNRs) detected at gamma-ray energies is now much larger: it goes from evolved supernova remnants interacting with molecular clouds up to young shell-type supernova remnants and historical supernova remnants. Studies of SNRs are of great interest, as these analyses are directly linked to the long standing issue of the origin of the Galactic cosmic rays. In this context, pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) need also to be considered since they evolve in conjunction with SNRs. As a result, they frequently complicate interpretation of the gamma-ray emission seen from SNRs and they could also contribute directly to the local cosmic ray spectrum, particularly the leptonic component. This paper reviews the current results and thinking on SNRs and PWNe and their connection to cosmic ray production. xml:lang="fr"

  7. High energy gamma-ray observations of the Crab Nebula and pulsar with the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oser, Scott Michael

    The Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) is a new ground-based atmospheric Cherenkov telescope for gamma-ray astronomy. STACEE uses the large mirror area of a solar heliostat facility to achieve a low energy threshold. A prototype experiment which uses 32 heliostat mirrors with a total mirror area of ~1200 m2 has been constructed. This prototype, called STACEE-32, was used to search for high energy gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula and Pulsar. Observations taken between November 1998 and February 1999 yield a strong statistical excess of gamma- like events from the Crab, with a significance of +6.75σ in 43 hours of on-source observing time. No evidence for pulsed emission from the Crab Pulsar was found, and the upper limit on the pulsed fraction of the observed excess was < 5.5% at the 90% confidence level. A subset of the data was used to determine the integral flux of gamma rays from the Crab. We report an energy threshold of Eth = 190 +/- 60 GeV, and a measured integral flux of I(E > Eth) = (2.2 +/- 0.6 +/- 0.2) × 10-10 photons cm-2 s-1. The observed flux is in agreement with a continuation to lower energies of the power law spectrum seen at TeV energies.

  8. The expected high-energy to ultra-high-energy gamma-ray spectrum of the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Jager, O. C.; Harding, A. K.

    1992-01-01

    The inverse Compton scattering model for the unpulsed TeV emission from the Crab Nebula is reexamined using the magnetic field distribution derived from MHD flow models of the nebula. It is shown that the observed flux can be explained if the average nebular field is indeed about 0.0003, as is predicted by the spectral break between radio and optical. The brightness distribution of the TeV gamma-ray signal is expected to extend out to about 1.5 arcmin from the pulsar. The present estimates predict a steady flux of unpulsed ultrahigh-energy gamma-rays due to the inverse Compton scattering of soft photons by shock-accelerated electrons and/or positrons in the vicinity of the shock.

  9. CHANDRA, KECK, AND VLA OBSERVATIONS OF THE CRAB NEBULA DURING THE 2011-APRIL GAMMA-RAY FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Tennant, Allyn F.; O'Dell, Stephen L.; Arons, Jonathan; Blandford, Roger; Funk, Stefan; Romani, Roger W.; Buehler, Rolf; Caraveo, Patrizia; De Luca, Andrea; Cheung, Chi C.; Costa, Enrico; Ferrigno, Carlo; Fu, Hai; Habermehl, Moritz; Horns, Dieter; Linford, Justin D.; Lobanov, Andrei; Max, Claire; Mignani, Roberto; and others

    2013-03-01

    We present results from our analysis of Chandra X-Ray Observatory, W. M. Keck Observatory, and Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) images of the Crab Nebula that were contemporaneous with the {gamma}-ray flare of 2011 April. Despite hints in the X-ray data, we find no evidence for statistically significant variations that pinpoint the specific location of the flares within the Nebula. The Keck observations extend this conclusion to the 'inner knot', i.e., the feature within an arcsecond of the pulsar. The VLA observations support this conclusion. We also discuss theoretical implications of the {gamma}-ray flares and suggest that the most dramatic {gamma}-ray flares are due to radiation-reaction-limited synchrotron emission associated with sudden, dissipative changes in the current system sustained by the central pulsar.

  10. A search for short-term variability in the very high energy γ-ray emission from the Crab nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Faoláin de Bhróithe, Anna; VERITAS Collaboration

    2012-12-01

    The Crab Nebula has long been considered a standard candle in high energy astrophysics, but in recent years this assumpation has been strongly contradicted in keV-GeV wavebands. In light of these developments, a search for variability is being performed on the nebula at Very High Energies (VHE; E > 300 GeV), the preliminary results of which are presented here. This initial study is based on 10 years (2001-2011) of archival data from the Whipple 10m telescope. The data set was searched for evidence of variability on the timescales of 1, 7, and 14 days. To date, no significant flaring activity has been found, but simulations are in progress to determine the level of variability that would be detected.

  11. Two Years of Chandra Observations: Neutron Stars and Pulsars with Emphasis on the Pulsar in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Chandra X-Ray Observatory is entering its third year of operation. The Observatory, the premiere x-ray telescope for high-resolution imaging, has exceeded all expectations. The sub-arc second angular resolution together with other instrumental capabilities has allowed for new insights into the understanding of compact x-ray emitting objects including neutron stars and pulsars. We briefly review the Chandra Program and the first two years of observation with emphasis on these interesting objects. We detail the results of our observations of the pulsar in the Crab Nebula including the first continuum spectrum that is virtually uncontaminated by any dust-scattered radiation.

  12. The Variable Crab Nebula: Evidence for a Connection Between GeV Flares and Hard X-ray Variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Harding, A. K.; Hays, E. A.; Cherry, M. L.; Case, G. L.; Finger, M. H.; Jenke, P.; Zhang, X.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, hard X-ray variations (Wilson-Hodge et al. 2011) and GeV flares (Tavani et al 2011, Abdo et al. 2011) from the Crab Nebula were discovered. Connections between these two phenomena were unclear, in part because the timescales were quite different, with yearly variations in hard X-rays and hourly to daily variations in the GeV flares. The hard X-ray flux from the Crab Nebula has again declined since 2014, much like it did in 2008-2010. During both hard X-ray decline periods, the Fermi LAT detected no GeV flares, suggesting that injection of particles from the GeV flares produces the much slower and weaker hard X-ray variations. The timescale for the particles emitting the GeV flares to lose enough energy to emit synchrotron photons in hard X-rays is consistent with the yearly variations observed in hard X-rays and with the expectation that the timescale for variations slowly increases with decreasing energy. This hypothesis also predicts even slower and weaker variations below 10 keV, consistent with the non-detection of counterparts to the GeV flares by Chandra (Weisskopf et al 2013). We will present a comparison of the observed hard X-ray variations and a simple model of the decay of particles from the GeV flares to test our hypothesis.

  13. The Variable Crab Nebula: Evidence for a Connection between GeV flares and Hard X-ray Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Kust Harding, Alice; Hays, Elizabeth A.; Cherry, Michael L.; Case, Gary L.; Finger, Mark H.; Jenke, Peter; Zhang, Xiao-Ling

    2016-04-01

    In 2010, hard X-ray variations (Wilson-Hodge et al. 2011) and GeV flares (Tavani et al 2011, Abdo et al. 2011) from the Crab Nebula were discovered. Connections between these two phenomena were unclear, in part because the timescales were quite different, with yearly variations in hard X-rays and hourly to daily variations in the GeV flares. The hard X-ray flux from the Crab Nebula has again declined since 2014, much like it did in 2008-2010. During both hard X-ray decline periods, the Fermi LAT detected no GeV flares, suggesting that injection of particles from the GeV flares produces the much slower and weaker hard X-ray variations. The timescale for the particles emitting the GeV flares to lose enough energy to emit synchrotron photons in hard X-rays is consistent with the yearly variations observed in hard X-rays and with the expectation that the timescale for variations slowly increases with decreasing energy. This hypothesis also predicts even slower and weaker variations below 10 keV, consistent with the non-detection of counterparts to the GeV flares by Chandra (Weisskopf et al 2013). We will present a comparison of the observed hard X-ray variations and a simple model of the decay of particles from the GeV flares to test our hypothesis.

  14. PULSAR WIND NEBULAE WITH THICK TOROIDAL STRUCTURE

    SciTech Connect

    Chevalier, Roger A.; Reynolds, Stephen P. E-mail: reynolds@ncsu.edu

    2011-10-10

    We investigate a class of pulsar wind nebulae that show synchrotron emission from a thick toroidal structure. The best studied such object is the small radio and X-ray nebula around the Vela pulsar, which can be interpreted as the result of interaction of a mildly supersonic inward flow with the recent pulsar wind. Such a flow near the center of a supernova remnant can be produced in a transient phase when the reverse shock reaches the center of the remnant. Other nebulae with a thick toroidal structure are G106.6+2.9 and G76.9+1.0. Their structure contrasts with young pulsar nebulae like the Crab Nebula and 3C 38, which show a more chaotic, filamentary structure in the synchrotron emission. In both situations, a torus-jet structure is present where the pulsar wind passes through a termination shock, indicating the flow is initially toroidal. We suggest that the difference is due to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability that operates when the outer boundary of the nebula is accelerating into freely expanding supernova ejecta. The instability gives rise to mixing in the Crab and related objects, but is not present in the nebulae with thick toroidal regions.

  15. Electron-capture supernovae of super-asymptotic giant branch stars and the Crab supernova 1054

    SciTech Connect

    Nomoto, Ken'ichi; Tominaga, Nozomu; Blinnikov, Sergei I.

    2014-05-02

    An electron-capture supernova (ECSN) is a core-collapse supernova explosion of a super-asymptotic giant branch (SAGB) star with a main-sequence mass M{sub Ms} ∼ 7 - 9.5M{sub ⊙}. The explosion takes place in accordance with core bounce and subsequent neutrino heating and is a unique example successfully produced by first-principle simulations. This allows us to derive a first self-consistent multicolor light curves of a core-collapse supernova. Adopting the explosion properties derived by the first-principle simulation, i.e., the low explosion energy of 1.5 × 10{sup 50} erg and the small {sup 56}Ni mass of 2.5 × 10{sup −3} M{sub ⊙}, we perform a multigroup radiation hydrodynamics calculation of ECSNe and present multicolor light curves of ECSNe of SAGB stars with various envelope mass and hydrogen abundance. We demonstrate that a shock breakout has peak luminosity of L ∼ 2 × 10{sup 44} erg s{sup −1} and can evaporate circumstellar dust up to R ∼ 10{sup 17} cm for a case of carbon dust, that plateau luminosity and plateau duration of ECSNe are L ∼ 10{sup 42} erg s{sup −1} and {sup t} ∼ 60 - 100 days, respectively, and that a plateau is followed by a tail with a luminosity drop by ∼ 4 mag. The ECSN shows a bright and short plateau that is as bright as typical Type II plateau supernovae, and a faint tail that might be influenced by spin-down luminosity of a newborn pulsar. Furthermore, the theoretical models are compared with ECSN candidates: SN 1054 and SN 2008S. We find that SN 1054 shares the characteristics of the ECSNe. For SN 2008S, we find that its faint plateau requires a ECSN model with a significantly low explosion energy of E ∼ 10{sup 48} erg.

  16. Electron-capture supernovae of super-asymptotic giant branch stars and the Crab supernova 1054

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomoto, Ken'ichi; Tominaga, Nozomu; Blinnikov, Sergei I.

    2014-05-01

    An electron-capture supernova (ECSN) is a core-collapse supernova explosion of a super-asymptotic giant branch (SAGB) star with a main-sequence mass MMs ˜ 7 - 9.5M⊙. The explosion takes place in accordance with core bounce and subsequent neutrino heating and is a unique example successfully produced by first-principle simulations. This allows us to derive a first self-consistent multicolor light curves of a core-collapse supernova. Adopting the explosion properties derived by the first-principle simulation, i.e., the low explosion energy of 1.5 × 1050 erg and the small 56Ni mass of 2.5 × 10-3 M⊙, we perform a multigroup radiation hydrodynamics calculation of ECSNe and present multicolor light curves of ECSNe of SAGB stars with various envelope mass and hydrogen abundance. We demonstrate that a shock breakout has peak luminosity of L ˜ 2 × 1044 erg s-1 and can evaporate circumstellar dust up to R ˜ 1017 cm for a case of carbon dust, that plateau luminosity and plateau duration of ECSNe are L ˜ 1042 erg s-1 and t ˜ 60 - 100 days, respectively, and that a plateau is followed by a tail with a luminosity drop by ˜ 4 mag. The ECSN shows a bright and short plateau that is as bright as typical Type II plateau supernovae, and a faint tail that might be influenced by spin-down luminosity of a newborn pulsar. Furthermore, the theoretical models are compared with ECSN candidates: SN 1054 and SN 2008S. We find that SN 1054 shares the characteristics of the ECSNe. For SN 2008S, we find that its faint plateau requires a ECSN model with a significantly low explosion energy of E ˜ 1048 erg.

  17. NEUTRINO ANALYSIS OF THE 2010 SEPTEMBER CRAB NEBULA FLARE AND TIME-INTEGRATED CONSTRAINTS ON NEUTRINO EMISSION FROM THE CRAB USING ICECUBE

    SciTech Connect

    Abbasi, R.; Aguilar, J. A.; Andeen, K.; Baker, M.; Abdou, Y.; Abu-Zayyad, T.; Adams, J.; Ahlers, M.; Altmann, D.; Auffenberg, J.; Becker, K.-H.; Bai, X.; Barwick, S. W.; Bay, R.; Bazo Alba, J. L.; Benabderrahmane, M. L.; Beattie, K.; Beatty, J. J.; Bechet, S.; Becker, J. K.; and others

    2012-01-20

    We present the results of a search for high-energy muon neutrinos with the IceCube detector in coincidence with the Crab Nebula flare reported on 2010 September by various experiments. Due to the unusual flaring state of the otherwise steady source we performed a prompt analysis of the 79-string configuration data to search for neutrinos that might be emitted along with the observed {gamma}-rays. We performed two different and complementary data selections of neutrino events in the time window of 10 days around the flare. One event selection is optimized for discovery of E{sup -2}{sub {nu}} neutrino spectrum typical of first-order Fermi acceleration. A similar event selection has also been applied to the 40-string data to derive the time-integrated limits to the neutrino emission from the Crab. The other event selection was optimized for discovery of neutrino spectra with softer spectral index and TeV energy cutoffs as observed for various Galactic sources in {gamma}-rays. The 90% confidence level (CL) best upper limits on the Crab flux during the 10 day flare are 4.73 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -11} cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} TeV{sup -1} for an E{sup -2}{sub {nu}} neutrino spectrum and 2.50 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -10} cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} TeV{sup -1} for a softer neutrino spectra of E{sup -2.7}{sub {nu}}, as indicated by Fermi measurements during the flare. In this paper, we also illustrate the impact of the time-integrated limit on the Crab neutrino steady emission. The limit obtained using 375.5 days of the 40-string configuration is compared to existing models of neutrino production from the Crab and its impact on astrophysical parameters is discussed. The most optimistic predictions of some models are already rejected by the IceCube neutrino telescope with more than 90% CL.

  18. The Vela Pulsar and Its Synchrotron Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfand, D.; Gotthelf, E.; Halpern, J.

    2000-10-01

    We present high-resolution Chandra X-ray observations of PSR0833-45, the 89 ms pulsar associated with the Vela supernova remnant. We have acquired two observations of the pulsar separated by one month to search for morphological changes in the pulsar and its environment following an extreme glitch in its rotation frequency. We find a well-resolved nebula with a morphology remarkably similar to the torus-like structure observed in the Crab Nebula, along with an axial Crab-like jet. The flux from the pulsar is found to be steady to within 0.75 %; the 3 sigma limit on the fractional increase in the pulsar's X-ray flux is <10-5 of the inferred glitch energy. We use this limit to constrain parameters of glitch models and neutron star structure. We do find a significant increase in the flux of the nebula's outer torus; if associated with the glitch, the inferred propogation velocity is ~0.5c, similar to that seen in the brightening of the Crab Nebula wisps. We propose an explanation for the X-ray structure of the Vela synchrotron nebula based on a model originally developed for the Crab Nebula. In this model, the bright, arc-shaped X-ray wisps are the shocked termination of a relativistic equatorial pulsar wind which is contained within the surrounding kidney-bean shaped synchrotron nebula which comprises the post-shock, but still relativistic, flow. In a departure from the Crab model, the magnetization parameter of the Vela pulsar wind is required to be of order unity; this is consistent with the simplest MHD transport of magnetic field from the pulsar to the nebula, where B ~ 4 x 10-4G.

  19. Mapping supernova remnants and pulsar wind nebulae across decades of energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewitt, John W.

    2016-04-01

    Ground- and space-based gamma ray observatories of the past decade have given us a new understanding of particle accelerators in our galaxy. The improved spatial resolution and sensitivity of recent gamma-ray surveys of the Galactic plane have resolved confusion of sources identified numerous sources to study the physics of particle acceleration and the diffusion of energetic particles into the galaxy. Here I highlight some recent studies of Galactic accelerators from GeV to TeV energies, that allow us to disentangle hadronic from leptonic emission, constrain cosmic ray diffusion, and measure the conditions of particle acceleration. Supernova remnants and pulsar wind nebulae are found to be the two most common Galactic sources identified in very high energy gamma rays, and the future capabilities of CTA promise a dramatic increase in our knowledge of these classes which are currently limited to only a few of the most well-studied cases.

  20. N157B: X-ray evidence for a Crab-like supernova remnant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gotthelf, Eric V.; Wang, Q. Daniel

    1996-01-01

    The X-ray observation of the supernova remnant N 157B is described. The Rosat High Resolution Imager (HRI) X-ray emission from the remnant was decomposed into point-like sources. The spectra showed abundance-enhanced neon and magnesium lines, indicating that the remnant originated in a massive progenitor. The flat and featureless data from the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) confirm the Crab-like nature of the remnant. By interpreting both the thermal spectral component and the shell as representing the remnant's outer shock, the age of the remnant was estimated to be 4 x 10(exp 3) yr and the energy release approximately 2 x 10(exp 50) erg.

  1. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of the Crab Nebula and the oxygen abundance of the interstellar medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schattenburg, M. L.; Canizares, C. R.

    1986-01-01

    The measurement and analysis of a high-resolution soft X-ray spectrum of the Crab Nebula obtained with the Focal Plane Crystal Spectrometer on the Einstein Observatory are reported. A hydrogen column density of 3.45 + or - 0.42 x 10 to the 21st/sq cm and an oxygen column density of 2.78 + or - 0.55 x 10 to the 18th/sq cm, corresponding to an oxygen abundance of 1.1 + or - 0.3 times solar, were obtained. The absence of any evident oxygen depletion effects suggests that most interstellar grains are reasonably transparent to soft X-rays, implying sizes of less than 0.4 micron. The detailed spectrum in the vicinity of the oxygen edge gives marginal evidence for a resonant absorption line and suggests an edge from singly ionized oxygen.

  2. Observations of the Crab pulsar and nebula by the EGRET telescope on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nolan, P. L.; Arzoumanian, Z.; Bertsch, D. L.; Chiang, J.; Fichtel, C. E.; Fierro, J. M.; Hartman, R. C.; Hunter, S. D.; Kanbach, G.; Kniffen, D. A.

    1993-01-01

    The Crab pulsar and nebula were observed three times in 1991 April to June by the Energetic Gamma-Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO): April 23 to May 7, May 16 to 30, and June 8 to 15. The results of analysis of the gamma-ray emission in the energy range from 50 MeV to more than 10 GeV are reported. The observed gamma-ray light curve exhibits two peaks separated in phase by 0.40 +/- 0.02, consistent with previous observations. The total pulsed emission from the Crab pulsar is found to be well represented by a power-law spectrum, softer than the spectrum measured by COS B (Clear et al., 1987). The interpulse emission has a harder spectrum than either of the pulses. The evidence for pulsed emission above 5 GeV in the EGRET data is not conclusive. Unpulsed emission in the energy range 50 MeV to 5 GeV was detected, with an indication of a hardening of the unpulsed spectrum above about 1 GeV. There was a significant change in the light curve over the 2 months of these observations, although the shape of the spectrum remained constant.

  3. Observations of the Crab Nebula with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory During the Gamma-Ray Flare of 2011 April

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, Martin C.

    2012-01-01

    Recently, using the AGILE and Fermi satellites, gamma-ray flares have been discovered from the direction of the Crab Nebula (Tavani et al. 2011, Abdo et al. 2011). We have been using the Chandra X-Ray observatory to monitor the Crab on a monthly cadence since just after the 2010 September gamma-ray flare. We were fortunate to trigger series of pre-planned target of opportunity observations during the 2011 April flare. We present the results of these observations and address some implications both for now and for the future.

  4. The Response of the BATSE LADs to Radiation From the Crab Nebula and Plans for Radioactivity Studies on Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laird, C. E.

    1996-01-01

    The Burst And Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) onboard the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) was designed to measure X-rays and gamma rays with energies from about 50 keV to above 2 MeV. As with many scientific investigations, the success of the original experiment lead to additional areas of research interest. In the case of BATSE the ability to observe the radiation from sources down to about 20 keV became readily apparent. This lead to a continuing program of measuring the spectrum of radiation from stellar objects at these lower energies. One of these, the Crab Nebula, has a very steady radiation flux and, thus, has become a "standard candle" for such measurements. The Large Area Detectors (LADS) on BATSE contain a 1.27-cm thick, 25.4-cm radius NaI(Tl) detector behind a 6.35-mm thick polystyrene Charged Particle Detector (CPD) used to "veto" charged particles signals. The detectors have been calibrated with a series of gamma and X-ray sources and the results carefully simulated with a Monte Carlo code. In the calibration process the computer simulation accounts for scattering from material in the counting room as well as the BATSE structure. For an orbiting detector, scattering from the entire spacecraft must be modeled as well as for all covering material over the detectors. Five years after CGRO was launched on April 5, 1991, a large body of observational data has been taken of the Crab Nebula. The technique used for these observations, and for many other X-ray sources, is Earth occultation. From the perspective of the spacecraft, the Earth occults most stellar objects once in orbit, i.e., the signal is lost as the source sets and is regained as the source rises. A careful analysis of the continuing signals from all sources measured allows for an accurate measurement of the spectrum of a given source. An analysis of this data from the Crab has indicated that the LADs are very responsive at energies as low as 20 keV-at energies below the range of

  5. Ionization break-out from millisecond pulsar wind nebulae: an X-ray probe of the origin of superluminous supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metzger, Brian D.; Vurm, Indrek; Hascoët, Romain; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic spin-down of a rapidly rotating (millisecond) neutron star has been proposed as the power source of hydrogen-poor `superluminous' supernovae (SLSNe-I). However, producing an unambiguous test that can distinguish this model from alternatives, such as circumstellar interaction, has proven challenging. After the supernova explosion, the pulsar wind inflates a hot cavity behind the expanding stellar ejecta: the nascent millisecond pulsar wind nebula. Electron/positron pairs injected by the wind cool through inverse Compton scattering and synchrotron emission, producing a pair cascade and hard X-ray spectrum inside the nebula. These X-rays ionize the inner exposed side of the ejecta, driving an ionization front that propagates outwards with time. Under some conditions this front can breach the ejecta surface within months after the optical supernova peak, allowing ˜0.1-1 keV photons to escape the nebula unattenuated with a characteristic luminosity LX ˜ 1043-1045 erg s-1. This `ionization break-out' may explain the luminous X-ray emission observed from the transient SCP 06F, providing direct evidence that this SLSN was indeed engine powered. Luminous break-out requires a low ejecta mass and that the spin-down time of the pulsar be comparable to the photon diffusion time-scale at optical maximum, the latter condition being similar to that required for a supernova with a high optical fluence. These relatively special requirements may explain why most SLSNe-I are not accompanied by detectable X-ray emission. Global asymmetry of the supernova ejecta increases the likelihood of an early break-out along the direction of lowest density. Atomic states with lower threshold energies are more readily ionized at earlier times near optical maximum, allowing `UV break-out' across a wider range of pulsar and ejecta properties than X-ray break-out, possibly contributing to the blue/UV colours of SLSNe-I.

  6. Meter-wavelength observations of pulsars using very long baseline interferometry. Ph.D. Thesis - Maryland Univ., College Park; [with particular attention to the Crab nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandenberg, N. R.

    1974-01-01

    The results of an investigation of the angular structure imposed on pulsar radiation due to scattering in the interstellar medium are presented. The technique of very-long-baseline interferometry was used to obtain the necessary high angular resolution. The interferometers formed by the Arecibo, NRAO, and Sugar Grove telescopes were used at radio frequencies of 196, 111, and 74 MHz during seven separate observing sessions between November 1971 and February 1973. A crude visibility function for the Crab nebular pulsar was obtained along with the correlated pulse profile. The technique of differential fringe phase was used to show that the pulsar and the compact source in the Crab nebula are coincident to within 0.001 arcsec which corresponds to aproximately 2 a.u. at the distance to the nebula. The ratio of pulsing to total flux, and the fringe visibility of the time-averaged pulsing flux are also discussed, and apparent angular sizes of the pulsars were measured.

  7. Supernova remnants and pulsar wind nebulae with Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eger, Peter

    2015-08-01

    The observation of very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma rays is an excellent tool to study the most energetic and violent environments in the Galaxy. This energy range is only accessible with ground-based instruments such as Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) that reconstruct the energy and direction of the primary gamma ray by observing the Cherenkov light from the induced extended air showers in Earths atmosphere. The main goals of Galactic VHE gamma-ray science are the identification of individual sources of cosmic rays (CRs), such as supernova remnants (SNRs), and the study of other extreme astrophysical objects at the highest energies, such as gamma-ray binaries and pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe). One of the main challenges is the discrimination between leptonic and hadronic gamma-ray production channels. To that end, the gamma-ray signal from each individual source needs to be brought into context with the multi-wavelength environment of the astrophysical object in question, particularly with observations tracing the density of the surrounding interstellar medium, or synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons. In this review presented at the European Cosmic Ray Symposium 2014 (ECRS2014), the most recent developments in the field of Galactic VHE gamma-ray science are highlighted, with particular emphasis on SNRs and PWNe.

  8. Ain't no Crab, PWN Got a Brand New Bag: Correlated Radio and X-ray Structures in Pulsar Wind Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, M. S. E.; Lyutikov, M.; Gaensler, B. M.; Brogan, C. L.; Tam, C. R.; Romani, R. W.

    2005-04-01

    The traditional view of radio pulsar wind nebulae (PWN), encouraged by the Crab nebula's X-ray and radio morphologies, is that they are a result of the integrated history of their pulsars' wind. The radio emission should therefore be largely unaffected by recent pulsar activity, and hence minimally correlated with structures in the X-ray nebulae. Observations of several PWN, both stationary and rapidly moving, now show clear morphological relationships between structures in the radio and X-ray with radio intensity variations on the order of unity. We present high-resolution X-ray and radio images of several PWN of both types and discuss the morphological relationships between the two wavebands.

  9. Was the supernova of AD 1054 reported in European history?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, F. Richard; Green, David A.

    2003-06-01

    The bright supernova of AD 1054, which produced the Crab Nebula, was extensively reported in East Asia and there is also a brief Arabic reference. Whether the star was recorded in European history has long been a matter of debate. In this paper we investigate in some detail purported European accounts of the supernova. We conclude that none of these are viable. The new star probably escaped notice in Europe because at the time astronomical knowledge was generally very limited.

  10. The attenuation of X-rays emitted by supernovae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schocken, K.

    1973-01-01

    The attenuation of X-rays in Arnett's C-12 detonation supernova model is computed. The attenuation of X-rays in the filaments of the Crab Nebula is computed using a model for the filaments by Woltjer and a model by Davidson and Tucker. An empirical expression by Gorenstein, Kellogg, and Gursky for the optical thickness of the interstellar medium for three supernova remnants is analyzed.

  11. An Analysis of Future In-Flight Calibration of the GOES-O Solar X-Ray Imager using the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klett, K. K.; Hill, S. M.

    2009-05-01

    A potential in-flight calibration method for NOAA's Solar X-ray Imager (SXI), to be flown on the O-series Geostationary Operation Environmental Satellites (hereafter referred to as SXI-O), which uses the Crab nebula, is analyzed. Calculations of the Crab nebula's signal, Poisson noise and electronics noise are performed to determine the feasibility of future in-flight calibrations. Such calibration is necessary to aid in understanding instrument performance changes over time. Performance degradation is possible due to thin film filter failure, high voltage system changes, optical and detector contamination, and mechanism failures. Entrance filter and voltage system degradations have occurred on the SXI instrument on-board GOES-12, highlighting the need for accurate calibration techniques. Solar flares, which emit 1-8 angstrom X-rays, and subsequent solar phenomena, like coronal mass ejections, emit energy in the 6-60 angstrom X-ray range. This is also SXI-O's wavelength measurement requirement, and within the range of emission of one of the brightest astronomical X-ray sources, the Crab Nebula. Previous measurements of the Crab Nebula flux in the 6-60 angstrom range were made by the focal plane crystal spectrometer on the Einstein Observatory, and are used in this analysis. These signal and noise calculations integrate the wavelength dependant flux, taking into account components of SXI-O, which include the primary mirror, filters, detectors, and detector electronics. The sources of noise that are analyzed include the shot noise from the signal, the detector's dark current and charge transfer efficiency noise, the electronics read noise, and the quantization noise. The results of these analysis show that in-flight calibration of SXI-O using the Crab nebula is possible, and the longest single exposure of which the instrument is capable (65 sec) yields a signal to noise ratio somewhat insufficient to meet SXI-O's 20% photometric accuracy requirement. However, summing

  12. G2.4 + 1.4, a supernova remnant or ring nebula around a peculiar star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, H. M.

    1975-01-01

    G2.4 + 1.4 is a probable nonthermal radio source and an optical nebula which appears to be a supernova remnant (SNR). It also contains an O VI sequence star of great excitation. We present new radiofrequency-continuum and (nil) H 92 alpha observations, optical spectroscopy, and Fabry-Perot scanner observations of the nebula. The object distance (possibly 5 kpc), origin of gas kinematics (possibly SNR expansion), and mode of excitation of the gas (possibly photoexcitation and/or shock wave) remain uncertain. We discuss the possible roles of the O VI star as 'runaway' in an SNR, as a source of photoexcitation, and as an ejector of a 'counterfeit' SNR.

  13. Vela Pulsar and Its Synchrotron Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfand, D. J.; Gotthelf, E. V.; Halpern, J. P.

    2001-07-01

    We present high-resolution Chandra X-ray observations of PSR B0833-45, the 89 ms pulsar associated with the Vela supernova remnant. We have acquired two observations separated by 1 month to search for changes in the pulsar and its environment following an extreme glitch in its rotation frequency. We find a well-resolved nebula with a toroidal morphology remarkably similar to that observed in the Crab Nebula, along with an axial Crab-like jet. Between the two observations, taken ~3×105 s and ~3×106 s after the glitch, the flux from the pulsar is found to be steady to within 0.75% the 3 σ limit on the fractional increase in the pulsar's X-ray flux is <~10-5 of the inferred glitch energy. We use this limit to constrain parameters of glitch models and neutron star structure. We do find a significant increase in the flux of the nebula's outer arc; if associated with the glitch, the inferred propagation velocity is >~0.7c, similar to that seen in the brightening of the Crab Nebula wisps. We propose an explanation for the X-ray structure of the Vela synchrotron nebula based on a model originally developed for the Crab Nebula. In this model, the bright X-ray arcs are the shocked termination of a relativistic equatorial pulsar wind that is contained within the surrounding kidney-bean shaped synchrotron nebula comprising the postshock, but still relativistic, flow. In a departure from the Crab model, the magnetization parameter σ of the Vela pulsar wind is allowed to be of order unity; this is consistent with the simplest MHD transport of magnetic field from the pulsar to the nebula, where B<=4×10-4 G. The inclination angle of the axis of the equatorial torus with respect to the line of sight is identical to that of the rotation axis of the pulsar as previously measured from the polarization of the radio pulse. The projection of the rotation axis on the sky may also be close to the direction of proper motion of the pulsar if previous radio measurements were confused by

  14. Walter Baade, Fritz Zwicky, and Rudolph Minkowski's Early Supernova Research, 1927 - 1973

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    1999-12-01

    Long before he ``discovered" the two stellar populations, Walter Baade was a pioneer in research on supernovae and their remnants. In 1927, while still in Germany, Baade emphasized what he called ``Hauptnovae" (chief novae) as highly luminous, potential distance indicators. He joined the Mount Wilson staff in 1931, bringing the ``secret" of the Schmidt camera with him, and encouraged Fritz Zwicky to carry out a supernova search with one at Palomar. Baade and Zwicky used the term ``supernova" in their 1933 joint paper. Zwicky began a systematic search in 1936, and Baade followed up with the 100-in reflector to derive light curves. He confirmed that Tycho's ``nova" of 1572 and the Crab nebula had been supernovae in our Galaxy. Baade advised N. U. Mayall, at Lick, on his spectroscopic study of the Crab nebula. In 1933, after Hitler came to power, Rudolph Minkowski had to leave Germany. Baade managed to get him a Mount Wilson staff position. Minkowski then did the spectroscopic observations of supernovae, beginning in 1937. Within a few years he and Baade were able to distinguish type I and II supernovae. Baade's further work on supernovae included historical research in Latin, Italian, and German, as well as filter photography. He searched hard for a remnant of SN 1885 in M 31, but never succeeded in finding it. After World War II the Crab nebula was found to be a strong radio source, and Baade and Minkowski used the 200-in to identify other supernova remnants, beginning with Cas A. Baade collaborated closely with Jan Oort and his student, Lo Woltjer, in their studies of the Crab nebula. After Baade retired in 1958, Minkowski continued supernova research for more than a decade; one of his favorite objects was the expanding Cygnus Loop.

  15. A Optical Synchrotron Nebula around the X-Ray Pulsar 0540-693

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanan, G.; Helfand, D.; Reynolds, S.

    The authors report the discovery of extended optical continuum emission around the recently discovered 50 ms X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant 0540-693. Exposures in blue and red broadband filters made with the CTIO 4 m telescope and prime focus CCD show a center-brightened but clearly extended nebula about 4arcsec in diameter (FWHM), while an image in an [O III] filter shows an 8arcsec diameter shell (as reported earlier) which encloses the continuum source. 0540-693 is a system very similar to the Crab nebula and represents the second detection of optical synchrotron radiation in a supernova remnant.

  16. Characterization of the Optical and X-ray Properties of the Northwestern Wisps in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Tennant, A.; Schweizer, T.; Bucciantini, N.; Nilsson, K.

    2013-01-01

    We have studied the variability of the Crab Nebula both in the visible and in X -rays. Optical observations were obtained using the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma and X -ray observations were made with the Chandra X -Ray Observatory. We observe wisps forming and peeling off from the region commonly associated with the termination shock of the pulsar wind. We measure a number of properties of the wisps to the Northwest of the pulsar. We find that the exact locations of the wisps in the optical and in X-rays are similar but not coincident, with the X-ray wisp preferentially located closer to the pulsar. Our measurements and their implications are interpreted in terms of a MHD model. We find that the optical wisps are more strongly Doppler boosted than X-ray wisps, a result inconsistent with current MHD simulations. Indeed the inferred optical boosting factors exceed MHD simulation values by about one order of magnitude. These findings suggest that the optical and X-ray wisps are not produced by the same particle distribution, a result which is consistent with the spatial differences. Further, the X -ray wisps and optical wisps are apparently developing independently from each other, but every time a new X ]ray wisp is born so is an optical wisp, thus pointing to a possible common cause or trigger. Finally, we find that the typical wisp formation rate is approximately once per year, interestingly at about the same rate of production of the large gamma-ray flares.

  17. A study of the Crab-like supernova remnant G21.5-0.9 with the Chandra X-ray Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matheson, Heather Colleen

    2006-12-01

    The absence of a supernova remnant (SNR) shell surrounding the Crab and other plerions (pulsar wind nebulae) has been a mystery for three decades. G21.5-0.9 is a particularly intriguing SNR in which the central powering engine (PSR J1833-1034) has been recently detected. Early Chandra observations revealed a faint extended X-ray halo which was associated with the SNR shell; however its spectrum was non-thermal, unlike that expected from an SNR shell. On the other hand, a plerionic origin to the halo was problematic since the X-ray plerion would be larger than the radio plerion. This thesis presents the analysis of an integrated 278 ks of archival Chandra data acquired with the High-Resolution Camera (HRC) and 579 ks aquired with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS). This study presents the deepest and highest resolution images of any plerionic SNR to date. The resulting images reveal for the first time: (1) a limb-brightened morphology in the eastern section of the halo, (2) a rich structure in the inner (40" radius) bright plerion including wisps and a double-lobed morphology with an axis of symmetry running in the northwest- southeast direction, and (3) the dynamic nature of the plerion with knots appearing, moving, and disappearing with time. The spatially resolved spectroscopic study indicates that the photon index steepens with increasing distance from the central point source out to a radius of 40" then becomes constant at ~2.6 in the X-ray halo (for a column density of N H = 2.33 × 10 22 atoms cm -2 ). Evidence of line emission due to Mg, Si, and S was found in the halo's northern knots, indicating that these features are shock-heated ejecta from the SN explosion. The limb lacked the evidence for heavy elements, indicating that it is the SNR, shell (shock-heated ISM). This study illustrates the need for deep Chandra observations to reveal the missing SNR material in Crab-like plerions.

  18. Studies of Pulsar Wind Nebula in the Supernova Remnant IC443: Preliminary Observations from the Chandra Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariyibi, E. A.

    2009-10-01

    Preliminary observations of the Chandra data were made in order to study the Pulsar Wind Nebula in the Supernova Remnant IC443. The Chandra X-ray observatory short observation on IC443 was centred on 13 chip ACIS. The CIAO analytical programme was used for the data analysis. The data were separated into point source, with an energy range of 2.1 to 10.0 keV, and diffuse source with energy less than 2.1 Kev. The resulting spectra were fitted to a power law. The observed density numbers and the normalised counts of both the point source and the diffuse source were used to describe the X-ray source. Afin d'étudier la "Pulsar wind Nebula" dans le reste de la Supernova IC 443, nous avons mené une exploitation préliminaire des observations provenant du satellite spatiale Chandra. L'observation brêve de IC 443, par Chandra fut centrée sur les composantes du spectromètre identifiées par la séquence 13. Le programme informatique CIAO fut utilisé pour l'analyse des données. Les données furent groupées en sources ponctuelles, chacune ayant des énergies allant de 2.1 a 10.0 kev ; et en sources diffuses chacune avec des énergies de moins de 2.1 kev. Les spectres obtenus furent interpolés à l'aide de fonction puissance. La densité de flux ainsi que le décompte des particules induites au détecteur par le rayonnement provenant des sources ponctuelles et diffuses furent utilisés pour décrire la source de rayon-X.

  19. Search for Gamma Rays above 100 TeV from the Crab Nebula with the Tibet Air Shower Array and the 100 m2 muon Detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amenomori, M.; Bi, X. J.; Chen, D.; Chen, T. L.; Chen, W. Y.; Cui, S. W.; Danzengluobu; Ding, L. K.; Feng, C. F.; Feng, Zhaoyang; Feng, Z. Y.; Gou, Q. B.; Guo, Y. Q.; He, H. H.; He, Z. T.; Hibino, K.; Hotta, N.; Hu, Haibing; Hu, H. B.; Huang, J.; Jia, H. Y.; Jiang, L.; Kajino, F.; Kasahara, K.; Katayose, Y.; Kato, C.; Kawata, K.; Kozai, M.; Labaciren; Le, G. M.; Li, A. F.; Li, H. J.; Li, W. J.; Liu, C.; Liu, J. S.; Liu, M. Y.; Lu, H.; Meng, X. R.; Miyazaki, T.; Mizutani, K.; Munakata, K.; Nakajima, T.; Nakamura, Y.; Nanjo, H.; Nishizawa, M.; Niwa, T.; Ohnishi, M.; Ohta, I.; Ozawa, S.; Qian, X. L.; Qu, X. B.; Saito, T.; Saito, T. Y.; Sakata, M.; Sako, T. K.; Shao, J.; Shibata, M.; Shiomi, A.; Shirai, T.; Sugimoto, H.; Takita, M.; Tan, Y. H.; Tateyama, N.; Torii, S.; Tsuchiya, H.; Udo, S.; Wang, H.; Wu, H. R.; Xue, L.; Yamamoto, Y.; Yamauchi, K.; Yang, Z.; Yasue, S.; Yuan, A. F.; Yuda, T.; Zhai, L. M.; Zhang, H. M.; Zhang, J. L.; Zhang, X. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Ying; Zhaxisangzhu; Zhou, X. X.; Tibet ASγ Collaboration

    2015-11-01

    A 100 m2 muon detector (MD) was successfully constructed under the existing Tibet air shower (AS) array in the late fall of 2007. The sensitivity of the Tibet AS array to cosmic gamma rays can be improved by selecting muon-poor events with the MD. Our MC simulation of the MD response reasonably agrees with the experimental data in terms of the charge distribution for one-muon events and the background rejection power. Using the data collected by the Tibet AS array and the 100 m2 MD taken from 2008 March to 2010 February, we search for continuous gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula above ∼100 TeV. No significant excess is found, and the most stringent upper limit is obtained above 140 TeV.

  20. Search for 100 TeV gamma rays from the Crab Nebula with the Tibet Air Shower Array and the 100 m2 muon detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sako, Takashi

    2016-07-01

    The 100 m ^{2} muon detector (MD) was constructed under the Tibet air shower (AS) array in the late autumn of 2007. By selecting muon-poor events with the MD, the sensitivity of the Tibet AS array to cosmic gamma rays can be improved. Our MC simulation of the MD response is in reasonable agreement with the experimental data, with regard to the charge distribution for one-muon events and the background rejection power. Using the data taken from 2008 March to 2010 February by the Tibet AS array and the 100 m ^{2} MD, we search for continuous 100 TeV gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula. No significant excess is detected, and the world's best upper limit is obtained above 140 TeV.

  1. Limiting Superluminal Electron and Neutrino Velocities Using the 2010 Crab Nebula Flare and the IceCube PeV Neutrino Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stecker, Floyd W.

    2014-01-01

    The observation of two PetaelectronVolt (PeV)-scale neutrino events reported by Ice Cube allows one to place constraints on Lorentz invariance violation (LIV) in the neutrino sector. After first arguing that at least one of the PetaelectronVolt IceCube events was of extragalactic origin, I derive an upper limit for the difference between putative superluminal neutrino and electron velocities of less than or equal to approximately 5.6 x 10(exp -19) in units where c = 1, confirming that the observed PetaelectronVolt neutrinos could have reached Earth from extragalactic sources. I further derive a new constraint on the superluminal electron velocity, obtained from the observation of synchrotron radiation from the Crab Nebula flare of September, 2010. The inference that the greater than 1 GigaelectronVolt gamma-rays from synchrotron emission in the flare were produced by electrons of energy up to approx. 5.1 PetaelectronVolt indicates the nonoccurrence of vacuum Cerenkov radiation by these electrons. This implies a new, strong constraint on superluminal electron velocities delta(sub e) less than or equal to approximately 5 x 10(exp -21). It immediately follows that one then obtains an upper limit on the superluminal neutrino velocity alone of delta(sub v) less than or equal to approximately 5.6 x 10(exp -19), many orders of magnitude better than the time-of-flight constraint from the SN1987A neutrino burst. However, if the electrons are subluminal the constraint on the absolute value of delta(sub e) less than or equal to approximately 8 x 10(exp -17), obtained from the Crab Nebula gamma-ray spectrum, places a weaker constraint on superluminal neutrino velocity of delta(sub v) less than or equal to approximately 8 x 10(exp -17).

  2. Evidence for supernova injection into the solar nebula and the decoupling of r-process nucleosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Brennecka, Gregory A; Borg, Lars E; Wadhwa, Meenakshi

    2013-10-22

    The isotopic composition of our Solar System reflects the blending of materials derived from numerous past nucleosynthetic events, each characterized by a distinct isotopic signature. We show that the isotopic compositions of elements spanning a large mass range in the earliest formed solids in our Solar System, calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), are uniform, and yet distinct from the average Solar System composition. Relative to younger objects in the Solar System, CAIs contain positive r-process anomalies in isotopes A < 140 and negative r-process anomalies in isotopes A > 140. This fundamental difference in the isotopic character of CAIs around mass 140 necessitates (i) the existence of multiple sources for r-process nucleosynthesis and (ii) the injection of supernova material into a reservoir untapped by CAIs. A scenario of late supernova injection into the protoplanetary disk is consistent with formation of our Solar System in an active star-forming region of the galaxy. PMID:24101483

  3. Evidence for supernova injection into the solar nebula and the decoupling of r-process nucleosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Brennecka, Gregory A.; Borg, Lars E.; Wadhwa, Meenakshi

    2013-01-01

    The isotopic composition of our Solar System reflects the blending of materials derived from numerous past nucleosynthetic events, each characterized by a distinct isotopic signature. We show that the isotopic compositions of elements spanning a large mass range in the earliest formed solids in our Solar System, calcium–aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), are uniform, and yet distinct from the average Solar System composition. Relative to younger objects in the Solar System, CAIs contain positive r-process anomalies in isotopes A < 140 and negative r-process anomalies in isotopes A > 140. This fundamental difference in the isotopic character of CAIs around mass 140 necessitates (i) the existence of multiple sources for r-process nucleosynthesis and (ii) the injection of supernova material into a reservoir untapped by CAIs. A scenario of late supernova injection into the protoplanetary disk is consistent with formation of our Solar System in an active star-forming region of the galaxy. PMID:24101483

  4. X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF THE SUPERNOVA REMNANT CTB 87 (G74.9+1.2): AN EVOLVED PULSAR WIND NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Matheson, H.; Safi-Harb, S.; Kothes, R. E-mail: samar@physics.umanitoba.ca

    2013-09-01

    Pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) studies with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory have opened a new window to address the physics of pulsar winds, zoom on their interaction with their hosting supernova remnant (SNR) and interstellar medium, and identify their powering engines. We here present a new 70 ks, plus an archived 18 ks, Chandra ACIS observation of the SNR CTB 87 (G74.9+1.2), classified as a PWN with unusual radio properties and poorly studied in X-rays. We find that the peak of the X-ray emission is clearly offset from the peak of the radio emission by {approx}100'' and located at the southeastern edge of the radio nebula. We detect a point source-the putative pulsar-at the peak of the X-ray emission and study its spectrum separately from the PWN. This new point source, CXOU J201609.2+371110, is surrounded by a compact nebula displaying a torus-like structure and possibly a jet. A more extended diffuse nebula is offset from the radio nebula, extending from the point source to the northwest for {approx}250''. The spectra of the point source, compact nebula, and extended diffuse nebula are all well described by a power-law model with a photon index of 1.1 (0.7-1.6), 1.2 (0.9-1.4), and 1.7 (1.5-1.8), respectively, for a column density N{sub H} = 1.38 (1.21-1.57) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 22} cm{sup -2} (90% confidence). The total X-ray luminosity of the source is {approx}1.6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 34} erg s{sup -1} at an assumed distance of 6.1 kpc, with {approx}2% and 6% contribution from the point source and compact nebula, respectively. The observed properties suggest that CTB 87 is an evolved ({approx}5-28 kyr) PWN, with the extended radio emission likely a ''relic'' PWN, as in Vela-X and G327.1-1.1. To date, however, there is no evidence for thermal X-ray emission from this SNR, and the SNR shell is still missing, suggesting expansion into a low-density medium (n{sub 0} < 0.2 D{sup -1/2}{sub 6.1} cm{sup -3}), likely caused by a stellar wind bubble blown by the

  5. SMM observations of gamma-ray transients. 2: A search for gamma-ray lines between 400 and 600 keV from the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, Michael J.; Share, Gerald H.; Leising, Mark D.

    1994-01-01

    We have search spectra obtained by the Solar Maximum Mission Gamma-Ray Spectrometer during 1981-1988 for evidence of transient gamma-ray lines from the Crab Nebula which have been reported by previous experiments at energies 400-460 keV and 539 keV. We find no evidence for significant emission in any of these lines on time scales between aproximately 1 day and approximately 1 yr. Our 3 sigma upper limits on the transient flux during 1 d intervals are approximately equal to 2.2 x 10(exp -3) photons/sq cm/s for narrow lines at any energy, and approximately equal to 2.9 x 10(exp -3) photons/sq cm/s for the 539 keV line if it is as broad as 42 keV Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM). We also searched our data during the approximately 5 hr period on 1981 June 6 during which Owens, Myers, & Thompson (1985) reported a strong line at 405 keV. We detected no line down to a 3 upper sigma limit of 3.3 x 10(exp -3) photons/sq cm/s in disagreement with the flux 7.2 +/- 2.1 x 10(exp -3) photos/sq cm/s measured by Owens et al.

  6. The Young Core-Collapse Supernova Remnant G11.2-0.3: An Asymmetric Circumstellar Medium and a Variable Pulsar Wind Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borkowski, Kazimierz J.; Moseby, A.; Reynolds, S. P.

    2014-01-01

    G11.2-0.3 is a young supernova remnant (SNR) that has been suggested to be associated with a historical supernova of 386 AD. In addition to a bright radio and X-ray shell, it contains a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) and a 65 ms pulsar. We present first results from new deep (about 400 ks in duration) Chandra observations from 2013 May and September. Ahead of the main shell, there are a number of outlying X-ray protrusions surrounded by bow shocks, presumably produced by dense ejecta knots. Pronounced spectral variations are seen in thermal X-ray spectra of the main shell, indicating the presence of shocks with a wide range in shock speeds and large spatial variations in intervening absorption. A band of soft X-ray emission is clearly seen at the remnant's center. We interpret this band as a result of the interaction of supernova ejecta with the strongly asymmetric wind produced by a red supergiant SN progenitor shortly before its explosion. We study interstellar absorption in the central region of the remnant, finding high absorption everywhere. This rules out the association of G11.2-0.3 with SN 386. The PWN is dominated by a bright "jet" whose spatial morphology is markedly different between our May and September observations.

  7. Characterization of the Optical and X-ray Properties of the Northwestern Wisps in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Bucciantini, N.; Idec, W.; Nillson, K.; Schweizer, T.; Tennant, A. F.; Zanin, R.

    2013-01-01

    We have studied the wisps to the northwest of the Crab pulsar as part of a multi-wavelength campaign in the visible and in X-rays. Optical observations were obtained using the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma and X-ray observations were made with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The observing campaign took place from October 2010 until September 2012. About once per year we observe wisps forming and peeling off from (or near) the region commonly associated with the termination shock of the pulsar wind. We find that the exact locations of the northwestern wisps in the optical and in X-rays are similar but not coincident, with X-ray wisps preferentially located closer to the pulsar. This suggests that the optical and X-ray wisps are not produced by the same particle distribution. It is also interesting to note that the optical and radio wisps are also separated from each other (Bietenholz et al. 2004). Our measurements and their implications are interpreted in terms of a Doppler-boosted ring model that has its origin in MHD modeling. While the Doppler boosting factors inferred from the X-ray wisps are consistent with current MHD simulations of PWNe, the optical boosting factors are not, and typically exceed values from MHD simulations by about a factor of 4.

  8. Radio flux variation of young supernova remnants

    SciTech Connect

    Ivanov, V.P.; Bubukin, I.T.; Stankevich, K.S.

    1982-01-01

    The 31.5-cm radio flux density of Cas A, the Crab Nebula, and the remnant of the 1572 supernova relative to that of the radio galaxies Cyg A and Vir A was measured in 1981. Comparison with similar observations in 1964 and 1972 shows that over the past decade the decline of the Cas A flux has slowed by a factor 2.2 and now amounts to (0.413 +- 0.08)%/yr. The Crab flux was (3.5 +- 1.0)% weaker in 1981 than in 1964 and 1972; it probably dropped abruptly between 1972 and 1977. For the 1572 SNR the annual mean decline over the 17-yr period is (0.5 +- 0.15)%/yr.

  9. Observations of young core collapse supernova remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tziamtzis, Anestis

    Studies of young remnants offer an opportunity to test theoretical models of stellar evolution, explosion models and nucleosynthesis, as well as our understanding of the compact objects in the centre of the exploded stars. The first part of the thesis involves observations of the Crab nebula. We have used photometric and spectroscopic observations to search for a faint halo around the visible nebula, that could carry the missing mass and kinetic energy of the nebula. No halo was found. In the photometric data due to psf contamination, and in the spectroscopic no fast velocity components were present. We have also used optical and IR photometry to check for variation in the emissivity and dynamic structure of the Crab pulsar wind nebula (PWN), to try to understand the nature of plerionic PWNe. There, we measured flux variations up to 20% in the IR and also shifting of the wisps with velocities up to 0.2c. We also showed that the nearby red knot moves in tandem with the Crab pulsar. The second part of the thesis, deals with photometric & spectroscopic observations of SN 1987A in the LMC. The aim of the project was to monitor the evolution of the outer rings (ORs) of SN 1987A. The fading of the ORs is consistent with recombination and cooling after the initial flash ionization by the supernova. From the spectroscopic data we measured the density and temperature in the ORs where we found temperatures of ~ 12,000 K for the [N II] gas, and ~ 25,000 K for the [O III]. Finally, from the [O II], and [S II] ratios we estimated electron densities of ~ 1,000 cm-3 and ~ 2,500 cm-3, respectively. From the evolution of Hα, we argue that the highest density in the ORs could be 5,000 cm-3.

  10. Radio-Quiet Pulsars and Point Sources in Supernova Remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfand, David

    2002-04-01

    Since Baade and Zwicky made their prescient remark identifying the central blue star in the Crab Nebula as a neutron star, this pulsar's period has increased by 0.9 msec, turning 10^48 ergs of rotational kinetic energy into a relativistic wind that has been deposited in its surroundings. This makes the compact remnant of the supernova of 1054 AD highly conspicuous. It also makes this remnant highly anomalous. Nowhere else in the Galaxy does such a luminous young pulsar exists, despite the fact that at least half a dozen core-collapse supernovae have occurred since the Crab's birth. Indeed, the newly discovered central object in Cas A is four orders of magnitude less luminous in the X-ray band. While the Chandra and XMM-Newton Observatories are discovering an increasing number of Crab-like synchrotron nebulae (albeit, far less luminous than the prototype), they are also revealing X-ray point sources inside supernova remnants that lack detectable radio pulses and show no evidence of a relativistic outflow to power a surrounding nebula. I will provide an inventory of these objects, discuss whether or not truly radio-silent young neutron stars exist, and speculate on the emission mechanisms and power sources which make such objects shine. I will conclude with a commentary on the implications of this population for the distributions of pulsar birth parameters such as spin period, magnetic field strength, and space velocity, as well as offer a glimpse of what future observations might reveal about the demographics of core-collapse remnants.

  11. ON THE INJECTION OF SHORT-LIVED RADIONUCLIDES FROM A SUPERNOVA INTO THE SOLAR NEBULA: CONSTRAINTS FROM THE OXYGEN ISOTOPES

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Ming-Chang

    2014-02-01

    Injection of short-lived radionuclides from a nearby core-collapse Type II supernova into the already-formed solar protoplanetary disk was proposed to account for the former presence of {sup 26}Al, {sup 41}Ca, and {sup 60}Fe in the early solar system inferred from isotopic analysis of meteoritic samples. One potential corollary of this ''late-injection'' scenario is that the disk's initial (pre-injection) oxygen isotopic composition could be significantly altered, as supernova material that carried the short-lived radionuclides would also deliver oxygen components synthesized in that given star. Therefore, the change in the oxygen isotopic composition of the disk caused by injection could in principle be used to constrain the supernova injection models. Previous studies showed that although supernova oxygen could result in a wide range of shifts in {sup 17}O/{sup 16}O and {sup 18}O/{sup 16}O of the disk, a couple of cases existed where the calculated oxygen changes in the disk would be compatible with the meteoritic and solar wind data. Recently, the initial abundances of {sup 41}Ca and {sup 60}Fe in the solar system were revised to lower values, and the feasibility of supernova injection as a source for the three radionuclides was called into question. In this study, supernova parameters needed for matching {sup 26}Al, {sup 41}Ca, and {sup 60}Fe to their early solar system abundances were reinvestigated and then were used to infer the pre-injection O-isotope composition of the disk. The result suggested that a supernova undergoing mixing fallback might be a viable source for the three radionuclides.

  12. Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    March, Marisa

    2014-03-01

    We live in a Universe that is getting bigger faster. This astonishing discovery of Universal acceleration was made in the late 1990s by two teams who made observations of a special type of exploded star known as a `Supernova Type Ia'. (SNeIa) Since the discovery of the accelerating Universe, one of the biggest questions in modern cosmology has been to determine the cause of that acceleration - the answer to this question will have far reaching implications for our theories of cosmology and fundamental physics more broadly. The two main competing explanations for this apparent late time acceleration of the Universe are modified gravity and dark energy. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) has been designed and commissioned to find to find answers to these questions about the nature of dark energy and modified gravity. The new 570 megapixel Dark Energy Camera is currently operating with the Cerro-Tololo Inter American Observatory's 4m Blanco teleccope, carrying out a systematic search for SNeIa, and mapping out the large scale structure of the Universe by making observations of galaxies. The DES science program program which saw first light in September 2013 will run for five years in total. DES SNeIa data in combination with the other DES observations of large scale structure will enable us to put increasingly accurate constraints on the expansion history of the Universe and will help us distinguish between competing theories of dark energy and modified gravity. As we draw to the close of the first observing season of DES in March 2014, we will report on the current status of the DES supernova survey, presenting first year supernovae data, preliminary results, survey strategy, discovery pipeline, spectroscopic target selection and data quality. This talk will give the first glimpse of the DES SN first year data and initial results as we begin our five year survey in search of dark energy. On behalf of the Dark Energy Survey collaboration.

  13. The electron spectra in the synchrotron nebula of the supernova remnant G 29.7-0.3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch-Miramond, L.; Jansen, F. A.; Rocchia, R.; Braun, R.; Becker, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    EXOSAT results obtained with the imaging instrument (CMA) and the medium energy proportional counters (ME) are discussed. Assuming that the featureless power-law spectrum obtained in the 2 to 10 keV range is synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons, one derives constraints on magnetic field strength and age of the nebula. The energy spectra of the electrons responsible for the emission in the radio and X-ray ranges are discussed. The great similarity of the physical properties of G 29.7-0.3 and of three synchrotron nebulae containing a compact object observed to pulse in X-rays makes G 29.7 - 0.3 a very promising candidate for further search for pulsed emission. Further observations at infrared wavelengths might reveal the break(s) in the emitted spectrum expected from the radio and X-ray power-law indices and give us more information on the production of the electron populations responsible for the emission of the nebula.

  14. Late-Time Evolution of Composite Supernova Remnants: Deep Chandra Observations and Hydrodynamical Modeling of a Crushed Pulsar Wind Nebula in SNR G327.1-1.1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Temim, Tea; Slane, Patrick; Kolb, Christopher; Blondin, John; Hughes, John P.; Bucciantini, Niccolo

    2015-01-01

    In an effort to better understand the evolution of composite supernova remnants (SNRs) and the eventual fate of relativistic particles injected by their pulsars, we present a multifaceted investigation of the interaction between a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) and its host SNR G327.1-1.1. Our 350 ks Chandra X-ray observations of SNR G327.1-1.1 reveal a highly complex morphology; a cometary structure resembling a bow shock, prong-like features extending into large arcs in the SNR interior, and thermal emission from the SNR shell. Spectral analysis of the non-thermal emission offers clues about the origin of the PWN structures, while enhanced abundances in the PWN region provide evidence for mixing of supernova ejecta with PWN material. The overall morphology and spectral properties of the SNR suggest that the PWN has undergone an asymmetric interaction with the SNR reverse shock(RS) that can occur as a result of a density gradient in the ambient medium and or a moving pulsar that displaces the PWN from the center of the remnant. We present hydrodynamical simulations of G327.1-1.1 that show that its morphology and evolution can be described by a approx. 17,000 yr old composite SNR that expanded into a density gradient with an orientation perpendicular to the pulsar's motion. We also show that the RSPWN interaction scenario can reproduce the broadband spectrum of the PWN from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. The analysis and modeling presented in this work have important implications for our general understanding of the structure and evolution of composite SNRs.

  15. Is the central binary system of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428 a type Ia supernova progenitor?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Berro, Enrique; Soker, Noam; Althaus, Leandro G.; Ribas, Ignasi; Morales, Juan C.

    2016-05-01

    We critically discuss the recent observations of the binary system at the center of the bipolar planetary nebula Henize 2-428. We find that the proposed explanation of two equal-mass degenerate objects with a total mass larger than the Chandrasekhar limiting mass that supposedly will merge in less than a Hubble time, possibly leading to a SN Ia, is controversial. This hypothesis relies on the assumption that the variability of the He II 5412 Å spectral line is due to two absorption components. Instead, we propose that it can be accounted for by a broad absorption line from the central system on top of which there is a narrow emission line from the nebula. This prompted us to study if the binary system can be made of a degenerate star and a low-mass main sequence companion, or of two degenerate objects of smaller mass. We find that although both scenarios can account for the existence of two symmetric broad minima in the light curve, the second one agrees better with observations. We thus argue that the claim that Henize 2-428 provides observational evidence supporting the double-degenerate scenario for SN Ia is premature.

  16. Light-element Nucleosynthesis in a Molecular Cloud Interacting with a Supernova Remnant and the Origin of Beryllium-10 in the Protosolar Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatischeff, Vincent; Duprat, Jean; de Séréville, Nicolas

    2014-12-01

    The presence of short-lived radionuclides (t 1/2 < 10 Myr) in the early solar system provides important information about the astrophysical environment in which the solar system formed. The discovery of now extinct 10Be (t 1/2 = 1.4 Myr) in calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) with Fractionation and Unidentified Nuclear isotope anomalies (FUN-CAIs) suggests that a baseline concentration of 10Be in the early solar system was inherited from the protosolar molecular cloud. In this paper, we investigate various astrophysical contexts for the nonthermal nucleosynthesis of 10Be by cosmic-ray-induced reactions. We first show that the 10Be recorded in FUN-CAIs cannot have been produced in situ by irradiation of the FUN-CAIs themselves. We then show that trapping of Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) in the collapsing presolar cloud core induced a negligible 10Be contamination of the protosolar nebula, the inferred 10Be/9Be ratio being at least 40 times lower than that recorded in FUN-CAIs (10Be/9Be ~ 3 × 10-4). Irradiation of the presolar molecular cloud by background GCRs produced a steady-state 10Be/9Be ratio <~ 1.3 × 10-4 at the time of the solar system formation, which suggests that the presolar cloud was irradiated by an additional source of CRs. Considering a detailed model for CR acceleration in a supernova remnant (SNR), we find that the 10Be abundance recorded in FUN-CAIs can be explained within two alternative scenarios: (1) the irradiation of a giant molecular cloud by CRs produced by >~ 50 supernovae exploding in a superbubble of hot gas generated by a large star cluster of at least 20,000 members, and (2) the irradiation of the presolar molecular cloud by freshly accelerated CRs escaped from an isolated SNR at the end of the Sedov-Taylor phase. In the second picture, the SNR resulted from the explosion of a massive star that ran away from its parent OB association, expanded during most of its adiabatic phase in an intercloud medium of density of about 1 H

  17. A KINEMATIC DISTANCE STUDY OF THE PLANETARY NEBULAE-SUPERNOVA REMNANT-H II REGION COMPLEX AT G35.6–0.5

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, H.; Tian, W. W.; Su, H. Q.; Torres, D. F.; Pedaletti, G. E-mail: tww@bao.ac.cn

    2013-10-01

    Two possible planetary nebulae (PN G035.5–00.4 and IRAS 18551+0159), one newly re-identified supernova remnant (SNR G35.6–0.4), and one H II region (G35.6–0.5) form a line-of-sight-overlapping complex known as G35.6–0.5. We analyze 21 cm H I absorption spectra toward the complex to constrain the kinematic distances of these objects. PN G035.5–00.4 has a distance from 3.8 ± 0.4 kpc to 5.4 ± 0.7 kpc. IRAS 18551+0159 is at 4.3 ± 0.5 kpc. We discuss the distance for SNR 35.6–0.4, for which the previous estimate was 10.5 kpc, and find a plausible distance of 3.6 ± 0.4 kpc. The new distance of SNR G35.6–0.4 and the derived mass for the ∼55 km s{sup –1} CO molecular cloud can accommodate an association with HESS J1858+020. We also conclude that SNR G35.6–0.4 is unlikely to be associated with PSR J1857+0210 or PSR J1857+0212, which are projected onto the SNR area.

  18. HST Imaging of the Pulsar Wind Nebula CTB 80

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hester, J.

    2000-12-01

    CTB80 is a remarkable pulsar wind nebula seen as the pulsar is passing through the shell of its own supernova remnant. HST images taken in the light of [O III], [S II], and Hα show the structure of a complex bow shock with a radiative central component and two Balmer-dominated lobes. Continuum images show the presence of a small diffuse knot of emission offset approximately 0.5'' from the location of the radio pulsar along a line bisecting the lobes. We interpret the knot as synchrotron emission, and note that its luminosity and offset from the pulsar make it remarkably like the knot seen 0.5'' to the south east of the Crab pulsar. We propose that the structure of the bow shock in CTB 80 is the result of an axisymmetric bipolar pulsar wind, much like that seen in the Crab Nebula, in which polar jets from the pulsar are responsible for forming the lobes. Shear flow from the relativistic jets may be responsible for stripping the cooling and recombination layer off of the back side of the shocks in the lobes. We predict that X-ray images of CTB 80 will show the presence of both a strong equatorial wind and synchrotron jets along the axis defined by the pulsar, the knot, and the lobes.

  19. Searching for the Thermal Plasma in the Naked Pulsar Wind Nebula CTB 87

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safi-Harb, Samar

    2013-10-01

    The missing thermal X-ray emission from dozens of naked pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) remains one of the most puzzling questions in the SNR field. Our understanding of PWNe has been largely biased by the study of the brightest and youngest objects, such as the Crab nebula. We propose a deep EPIC observation of CTB 87. Our Chandra study, complemented with multi-wavelength observations, suggests that this remnant is an evolved PWN, most likely crushed by the supernova explosion's reverse shock. Alternatively, a bow-shock interpretation is also plausible. Our proposed observation will discriminate between these two scenarios. XMM-Newton is the ideal facility to perform a deep search for the thermal emission expected at the PWN-reverse shock interaction site and from the long-sought SNR shell.

  20. An optical synchrotron nebula around the X-ray pulsar 0540 693 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanan, G. A.; Helfand, D. J.; Reynolds, S. P.

    1984-12-01

    The discovery of extended optical continuum emission around the recently discovered 50 ms X-ray pulsar in the supernova remnant 0540 - 693 is reported. Exposures in blue and red broad-band filters made with the CTIO 4 m telescope and prime focus CCD show a center-brightened but clearly extended nebula about 4 arcsec in diameter (FWHM), while an image in an (O III) filter shows an 8 arcsec diameter shell (as reported earlier) which encloses the continuum source. The extinction-correction magnitudes B = 17.5 and I = 16.4 both correspond to flux densities which lie directly on the extrapolation of the observed X-ray power-law spectrum, suggesting that the emission from 10 to the 14.5 Hz to 10 to the 18th Hz is synchrotron radiation from a single population of particles. Line emission is shown to be only a small contaminant in the broad-band images. Thus the 0540 - 693 system is apparently a very close analog of the Crab Nebula. Any point source component in the former nebula must have B greater than 20; the Crab pulsar at this distance would have B approximately 23. The implications of the observations for the energetics of the pulsar/nebula system are discussed.

  1. Good Crab, Bad Crab

    EPA Science Inventory

    Are crabs friends or foes of marsh grass, benefit or detriment to the salt marsh system? We examined Uca pugilator (sand fiddler) and Sesarma reticulatum (purple marsh crab) with Spartina patens (salt marsh hay) at two elevations (10 cm below MHW and 10 cm above MHW) in mesocosms...

  2. Gammy-Ray and Hard X-Ray Emission from Pulsar-aided Supernovae as a Probe of Particle Acceleration in Embryonic Pulsar Wind Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murase, Kohta; Kashiyama, Kazumi; Kiuchi, Kenta; Bartos, Imre

    2015-05-01

    It has been suggested that some classes of luminous supernovae (SNe) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are driven by newborn magnetars. Fast-rotating proto-neutron stars have also been of interest as potential sources of gravitational waves (GWs). We show that for a range of rotation periods and magnetic fields, hard X-rays and GeV gamma rays provide us with a promising probe of pulsar-aided SNe. It is observationally known that young pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) in the Milky Way are very efficient lepton accelerators. We argue that, if embryonic PWNe satisfy similar conditions at early stages of SNe (in ˜1-10 months after the explosion), external inverse-Compton emission via upscatterings of SN photons is naturally expected in the GeV range as well as broadband synchrotron emission. To fully take into account the Klein-Nishina effect and two-photon annihilation process that are important at early times, we perform detailed calculations including electromagnetic cascades. Our results suggest that hard X-ray telescopes such as NuSTAR can observe such early PWN emission by follow-up observations in months to years. GeV gamma-rays may also be detected by Fermi for nearby SNe, which serve as counterparts of these GW sources. Detecting the signals will give us an interesting probe of particle acceleration at early times of PWNe, as well as clues to driving mechanisms of luminous SNe and GRBs. Since the Bethe-Heitler cross section is lower than the Thomson cross section, gamma rays would allow us to study subphotospheric dissipation. We encourage searches for high-energy emission from nearby SNe, especially SNe Ibc including super-luminous objects.

  3. Notes on translations of the East Asian records relating to the supernova of AD 1054

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankenier, David W.

    2006-06-01

    The East Asian records of the ‘guest star’ of 1054 that produced the Crab Nebula have been re-evaluated more than once during the past decade. Although some of the apparent inconsistencies in the records have now been addressed, doubts about the reported position of the supernova still persist. The published translations of the records, moreover, are still unsatisfactory in certain respects. Here I offer corrections to the translations of several records, present a previously-unreported contemporaneous account of the guest star, and suggest an explanation of why the Song Dynasty astronomers erroneously placed SN 1054 southeast of ζ Tau.

  4. Art as an Evolutionary Adaptation: Inspiration from the Visible Supernovae of AD 1054 and AD 3054

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbally, C. J.; Rappaport, M. B.

    2016-01-01

    The authors, an astronomer/priest and an anthropologist/biologist, describe their use of the dramatic arts at the INSAP VIII meeting in their performance of two short skits on the sighting of a supernova in AD 1054 (creating the beautiful Crab Nebula) and a future “Rho Cas” stellar explosion in the constellation Cassiopeia, in AD 3054. They speculate on the emergence of science, religion, and art as bona fide adaptations, responding to natural selection, which served early hominins well in their struggle for existence. They draw parallels to the continued functions of science, religion, and art in modern society.

  5. Electron-capture supernovae exploding within their progenitor wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriya, Takashi J.; Tominaga, Nozomu; Langer, Norbert; Nomoto, Ken'ichi; Blinnikov, Sergei I.; Sorokina, Elena I.

    2014-09-01

    The most massive stars on the asymptotic giant branch (AGB), or the so-called super-AGB stars, are thought to produce supernovae triggered by electron captures in their degenerate O+Ne+Mg cores. Super-AGB stars are expected to have slow winds with high mass-loss rates, so their circumstellar density is high. The explosions of super-AGB stars are therefore presumed to occur in this dense circumstellar environment. We provide the first synthetic light curves for such events by exploding realistic electron-capture supernova progenitors within their super-AGB winds. We find that the early light curve - that is, before the recombination wave reaches the bottom of the hydrogen-rich envelope of supernova ejecta (the plateau phase) - is not affected by the dense wind. However, after the luminosity drop following the plateau phase, the luminosity remains much higher when the super-AGB wind is taken into account. We compare our results to the historical light curve of SN 1054, the progenitor of the Crab Nebula, and show that the explosion of an electron-capture supernova within an ordinary super-AGB wind can explain the observed light curve features. We conclude that SN 1054 could have been a Type IIn supernova without any extra extreme mass loss, which was previously suggested to be necessary to account for its early high luminosity. We also show that our light curves match Type IIn supernovae with an early plateau phase or the so-called Type IIn-P supernovae, and suggest that they are electron-capture supernovae within super-AGB winds. Although some electron-capture supernovae can be bright in the optical spectral range due to the large progenitor radius, their X-ray luminosity from the interaction does not necessarily get as bright as other Type IIn supernovae whose optical luminosities are also powered by the interaction. Thus, we suggest that optically bright X-ray-faint Type IIn supernovae can emerge from electron-capture supernovae. Optically faint Type IIn supernovae

  6. Light-element nucleosynthesis in a molecular cloud interacting with a supernova remnant and the origin of beryllium-10 in the protosolar nebula

    SciTech Connect

    Tatischeff, Vincent; Duprat, Jean; De Séréville, Nicolas

    2014-12-01

    The presence of short-lived radionuclides (t {sub 1/2} < 10 Myr) in the early solar system provides important information about the astrophysical environment in which the solar system formed. The discovery of now extinct {sup 10}Be (t {sub 1/2} = 1.4 Myr) in calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) with Fractionation and Unidentified Nuclear isotope anomalies (FUN-CAIs) suggests that a baseline concentration of {sup 10}Be in the early solar system was inherited from the protosolar molecular cloud. In this paper, we investigate various astrophysical contexts for the nonthermal nucleosynthesis of {sup 10}Be by cosmic-ray-induced reactions. We first show that the {sup 10}Be recorded in FUN-CAIs cannot have been produced in situ by irradiation of the FUN-CAIs themselves. We then show that trapping of Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) in the collapsing presolar cloud core induced a negligible {sup 10}Be contamination of the protosolar nebula, the inferred {sup 10}Be/{sup 9}Be ratio being at least 40 times lower than that recorded in FUN-CAIs ({sup 10}Be/{sup 9}Be ∼ 3 × 10{sup –4}). Irradiation of the presolar molecular cloud by background GCRs produced a steady-state {sup 10}Be/{sup 9}Be ratio ≲ 1.3 × 10{sup –4} at the time of the solar system formation, which suggests that the presolar cloud was irradiated by an additional source of CRs. Considering a detailed model for CR acceleration in a supernova remnant (SNR), we find that the {sup 10}Be abundance recorded in FUN-CAIs can be explained within two alternative scenarios: (1) the irradiation of a giant molecular cloud by CRs produced by ≳ 50 supernovae exploding in a superbubble of hot gas generated by a large star cluster of at least 20,000 members, and (2) the irradiation of the presolar molecular cloud by freshly accelerated CRs escaped from an isolated SNR at the end of the Sedov-Taylor phase. In the second picture, the SNR resulted from the explosion of a massive star that ran away from its parent OB

  7. Multi-frequency observations of SNR J0453-6829 in the LMC. A composite supernova remnant with a pulsar wind nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haberl, F.; Filipović, M. D.; Bozzetto, L. M.; Crawford, E. J.; Points, S. D.; Pietsch, W.; De Horta, A. Y.; Tothill, N.; Payne, J. L.; Sasaki, M.

    2012-07-01

    Context. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is rich in supernova remnants (SNRs), which can be investigated in detail with radio, optical, and X-ray observations. SNR J0453-6829 is an X-ray and radio-bright remnant in the LMC, within which previous studies revealed the presence of a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), making it one of the most interesting SNRs in the Local Group of galaxies. Aims: We study the emission of SNR J0453-6829 to improve our understanding of its morphology, spectrum, and thus the emission mechanisms in the shell and the PWN of the remnant. Methods: We obtained new radio data with the Australia Telescope Compact Array and analysed archival XMM-Newton observations of SNR J0453-6829. We studied the morphology of SNR J0453-6829 from radio, optical, and X-ray images and investigated the energy spectra in the different parts of the remnant. Results: Our radio results confirm that this LMC SNR hosts a typical PWN. The prominent central core of the PWN exhibits a radio spectral index αCore of -0.04 ± 0.04, while in the rest of the SNR shell the spectral slope is somewhat steeper with αShell = -0.43 ± 0.01. We detect regions with a mean polarisation of P ≅ (12 ± 4)% at 6 cm and (9 ± 2)% at 3 cm. The full remnant is of roughly circular shape with dimensions of (31 ± 1) pc × (29 ± 1) pc. The spectral analysis of the XMM-Newton EPIC and RGS spectra allowed us to derive physical parameters for the SNR. Somewhat depending on the spectral model, we obtain for the remnant a shock temperature of around 0.2 keV and estimate the dynamical age to 12 000-15 000 years. Using a Sedov model we further derive an electron density in the X-ray emitting material of 1.56 cm-3, typical for LMC remnants, a large swept-up mass of 830 M⊙, and an explosion energy of 7.6 × 1050 erg. These parameters indicate a well evolved SNR with an X-ray spectrum dominated by emission from the swept-up material.

  8. Observations of TeV Gamma Rays from Supernova Remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckley, James H.

    1994-12-01

    Measurements of the gamma ray flux from a number of supernova remnants (SNRs) at energies above 250 GeV have been made with the Whipple Imaging air \\v Cerenkov detector. Observation of the gamma ray emission of SNRs at energies above 1 GeV should provide a sensitive test of shock acceleration models of particle acceleration in SNRs. Gamma-ray luminosities of supernova remnants are well constrained by the observed supernova rate and the cosmic ray flux if supernovae are indeed the source of cosmic rays. Drury et al. (Astron. Astrophys. 287, 959 (1994)) predict that the luminosity of nearby Sedov-phase SNRs should be observable by the Whipple telescope. In this model, diffusive shock acceleration produces energetic charged particles which interact with the ambient medium forming gamma rays. There is an indication that a number of unidentified EGRET sources may correspond to supernova remnants (G. Kanbach, private communication), although at these energies (>100 MeV) the diffuse background is somewhat uncertain. Measurements of the gamma-ray flux with the Whipple instrument have a similar sensitivity to the EGRET detector for a source spectral index of 2.15, and less sensitivity to diffuse background. A number of observations of SNRs including: Tycho, W66, IC443, and others have been made. Currently for Tycho an upper limit of 9times 10(-12) cm(-2) sec(-1) is obtained. The status of these observations will be presented, and it will be shown that these measurements combined with the EGRET observations are beginning to provide a useful constraint on models of cosmic ray origin. Gamma-ray observations may also be used to constrain models of particle acceleration in SNRs exhibiting pulser-powered synchrotron nebula (plerions). The status of observations of this class of objects, including the Crab nebula, will also be presented. Supported in part by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

  9. CHANGES IN THE CRAB PULSAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Scientists are learning more about how pulsars work by studying a series of Hubble Space Telescope images of the heart of the Crab Nebula. The images, taken over a period of several months, show that the Crab is a far more dynamic object than previously understood. At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar. The pulsar is a tiny object by astronomical standards -- only about six miles across -- but has a mass greater than that of the Sun and rotates at a rate of 30 times a second. As the pulsar spins its intense magnetic field whips around, acting like a sling shot, accelerating subatomic particles and sending them hurtling them into space at close to the speed of light. The tiny pulsar and its wind are the powerhouse for the entire Crab Nebula, which is 10 light-years across -- a feat comparable to an object the size of a hydrogen atom illuminating a volume of space a kilometer across. The three pictures shown here, taken from the series of Hubble images, show dramatic changes in the appearance of the central regions of the nebula. These include wisp-like structures that move outward away from the pulsar at half the speed of light, as well as a mysterious 'halo' which remains stationary, but grows brighter then fainter over time. Also seen are the effects of two polar jets that move out along the rotation axis of the pulsar. The most dynamic feature seen -- a small knot that 'dances around' so much that astronomers have been calling it a 'sprite' -- is actually a shock front (where fast-moving material runs into slower-moving material)in one of these polar jets. The telescope captured the images with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 using a filter that passes light of wavelength around 550 nanometers, near the middle of the visible part of the spectrum. The Crab Nebula is located 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. Credit: Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA

  10. Rotation and Magnetic Fields in Supernovae and Gamma-ray Bursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2005-10-01

    Spectropolarimetry of core collapse supernovae has shown that they are asymmetric and often, but not universally, bi-polar; in some the dominant axes associated with hydrogen, oxygen, and calcium are oriented substantially differently. Jet-induced supernova models give a typical jet/torus structure that is reminiscent of some objects like the Crab nebula, SN 1987A and perhaps Cas A. Jets, in turn, may arise from the intrinsic rotation and magnetic fields that are expected to accompany core collapse. We summarize the potential importance of the magneto-rotational instability for the core collapse problem, stress the non- monotonic response of the final rotation and magnetic field to the initial iron core rotation, and the potential role of non-axisymmetric instabilities in the new-born neutron star. We sketch some of the effects that large magnetic fields, ˜10^15 - 10^17 G, may have on the physics at core bounce and in the subsequent cooling, de-leptonization phase. Production and dissipation of MHD waves in this strongly differentially rotating environment may affect the success of the supernova explosion, the nature of the compact remnant -- neutron star or black hole, pulsar or magnetar -- and whether the outcome is a normal supernova or a gamma-ray burst. In collaboration with Shizuka Akiyama, University of Texas at Austin.

  11. Nucleosynthesis in Electron Capture Supernovae of Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanajo, S.; Nomoto, K.; Janka, H.-T.; Kitaura, F. S.; Müller, B.

    2009-04-01

    We examine nucleosynthesis in the electron capture supernovae of progenitor asymptotic giant branch stars with an O-Ne-Mg core (with the initial stellar mass of 8.8 M sun). Thermodynamic trajectories for the first 810 ms after core bounce are taken from a recent state-of-the-art hydrodynamic simulation. The presented nucleosynthesis results are characterized by a number of distinct features that are not shared with those of other supernovae from the collapse of stars with iron core (with initial stellar masses of more than 10 M sun). First is the small amount of 56Ni (0.002-0.004 M sun) in the ejecta, which can be an explanation for the observed properties of faint supernovae such as SNe 2008S and 1997D. In addition, the large Ni/Fe ratio is in reasonable agreement with the spectroscopic result of the Crab nebula (the relic of SN 1054). Second is the large production of 64Zn, 70Ge, light p-nuclei (74Se, 78Kr, 84Sr, and 92Mo), and in particular, 90Zr, which originates from the low Ye (0.46-0.49, the number of electrons per nucleon) ejecta. We find, however, that only a 1%-2% increase of the minimum Ye moderates the overproduction of 90Zr. In contrast, the production of 64Zn is fairly robust against a small variation of Ye . This provides the upper limit of the occurrence of this type of events to be about 30% of all core-collapse supernovae.

  12. Butterfly Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) is back at work, capturing this image of the 'butterfly wing'- shaped nebula, NGC 2346. The nebula is about 2,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Monoceros. It represents the spectacular 'last gasp' of a binary star system at the nebula's center. The image was taken on March 6, 1997 as part of the recommissioning of the Hubble Space Telescope's previously installed scientific instruments following the successful servicing of the HST by NASA shuttle astronauts in February. WFPC2 was installed in HST during the servicing mission in 1993. At the center of the nebula lies a pair of stars that are so close together that they orbit around each other every 16 days. This is so close that, even with Hubble, the pair of stars cannot be resolved into its two components. One component of this binary is the hot core of a star that has ejected most of its outer layers, producing the surrounding nebula. Astronomers believe that this star, when it evolved and expanded to become a red giant, actually swallowed its companion star in an act of stellar cannibalism. The resulting interaction led to a spiraling together of the two stars, culminating in ejection of the outer layers of the red giant. Most of the outer layers were ejected into a dense disk, which can still be seen in the Hubble image, surrounding the central star. Later the hot star developed a fast stellar wind. This wind, blowing out into the surrounding disk, has inflated the large, wispy hourglass-shaped wings perpendicular to the disk. These wings produce the butterfly appearance when seen in projection. The total diameter of the nebula is about one-third of a light-year, or 2 trillion miles.

  13. Horsehead nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Rising from a sea of dust and gas like a giant seahorse, the Horsehead nebula is one of the most photographed objects in the sky. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took a close-up look at this heavenly icon, revealing the cloud's intricate structure. This detailed view of the horse's head is being released to celebrate the orbiting observatory's eleventh anniversary. Produced by the Hubble Heritage Project, this picture is a testament to the Horsehead's popularity. Internet voters selected this object for the orbiting telescope to view.

    The Horsehead, also known as Barnard 33, is a cold, dark cloud of gas and dust, silhouetted against the bright nebula, IC 434. The bright area at the top left edge is a young star still embedded in its nursery of gas and dust. But radiation from this hot star is eroding the stellar nursery. The top of the nebula also is being sculpted by radiation from a massive star located out of Hubble's field of view.

    Only by chance does the nebula roughly resemble the head of a horse. Its unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. Located in the constellation Orion, the Horsehead is a cousin of the famous pillars of dust and gas known as the Eagle nebula. Both tower-like nebulas are cocoons of young stars.

    The Horsehead nebula lies just south of the bright star Zeta Orionis, which is easily visible to the unaided eye as the left-hand star in the line of three that form Orion's Belt. Amateur astronomers often use the Horsehead as a test of their observing skills; it is known as one of the more difficult objects to see visually in an amateur-sized telescope.

    The magnificent extent of the Horsehead is best appreciated in a new wide-field image of the nebula being released today by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, taken by Travis Rector with the National Science Foundation's 0.9 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, AZ.

    This popular celestial target was the clear

  14. PARTICLE TRANSPORT IN YOUNG PULSAR WIND NEBULAE

    SciTech Connect

    Tang Xiaping; Chevalier, Roger A. E-mail: rac5x@virginia.edu

    2012-06-20

    The model for pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) as a result of the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) downstream flow from a shocked, relativistic pulsar wind has been successful in reproducing many features of the nebulae observed close to central pulsars. However, observations of well-studied young nebulae like the Crab Nebula, 3C 58, and G21.5-0.9 do not show the toroidal magnetic field on a larger scale that might be expected in the MHD flow model; in addition, the radial variation of spectral index due to synchrotron losses is smoother than expected in the MHD flow model. We find that pure diffusion models can reproduce the basic data on nebular size and spectral index variation for the Crab, 3C 58, and G21.5-0.9. Most of our models use an energy-independent diffusion coefficient; power-law variations of the coefficient with energy are degenerate with variation in the input particle energy distribution index in the steady state, transmitting boundary case. Energy-dependent diffusion is a possible reason for the smaller diffusion coefficient inferred for the Crab. Monte Carlo simulations of the particle transport allowing for advection and diffusion of particles suggest that diffusion dominates over much of the total nebular volume of the Crab. Advection dominates close to the pulsar and is likely to play a role in the X-ray half-light radius. The source of diffusion and mixing of particles is uncertain, but may be related to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability at the outer boundary of a young PWN or to instabilities in the toroidal magnetic field structure.

  15. Stars in the Tarantula Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    In the most active starburst region in the local universe lies a cluster of brilliant, massive stars, known to astronomers as Hodge 301. Hodge 301, seen in the lower right hand corner of this image, lives inside the Tarantula Nebula in our galactic neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This star cluster is not the brightest, or youngest, or most populous star cluster in the Tarantula Nebula, that honor goes to the spectacular R136. In fact, Hodge 301 is almost 10 times older than the young cluster R136. But age has its advantages; many of the stars in Hodge 301 are so old that they have exploded as supernovae. These exploded stars are blasting material out into the surrounding region at speeds of almost 200 miles per second. This high speed ejecta are plowing into the surrounding Tarantula Nebula, shocking and compressing the gas into a multitude of sheets and filaments, seen in the upper left portion of the picture. Hodge 301 contains three red supergiants - stars that are close to the end of their evolution and are about to go supernova, exploding and sending more shocks into the Tarantula. Also present near the center of the image are small, dense gas globules and dust columns where new stars are being formed today, as part of the overall ongoing star formation throughout the Tarantula region.

  16. An X-ray View of the Zoo of Compact Objects and Associated Supernova Remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safi-Harb, Samar

    2015-08-01

    Core-collapse explosions of massive stars leave behind some of the most exotic compact objects in the Universe. These include: rotation-powered pulsars like the Crab, powering pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) observed across the electromagnetic spectrum; highly magnetized neutron stars ("magnetars") shining or bursting at high-energies; and X-ray emitting “Central Compact Objects” (CCOs) with intrinsic properties and emission mechanism that remain largely unknown. I will highlight this observed diversity of compact stellar remnants from an X-ray perspective, and address the connection between their properties and those of their hosting supernova remnants (SNRs). In particular I will highlight topics related to their formation and evolution, including: 1) which supernovae make magnetars and the shell-less PWNe?, 2) what can we learn from the apparent age discrepancy between SNRs and their associated pulsars? I will conclude with prospects for observations of SNRs with the upcoming ASTRO-H X-ray mission. The unprecedented spectral resolution on board of ASTRO-H’s micro-calorimeter will particularly open a new discovery window for supernova progenitors' science.

  17. Orion Nebula and Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, Reginald J.

    1998-01-01

    This report summarizes the research performed at Rice University related to NASA-Ames University consortium grant NCC2-5199 during the two year period 1996 September 1 through 1998 August 31. The research program, titled Orion Nebula and Planetary Nebulae, involved the analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imagery and spectroscopy of the Orion Nebula and of the planetary nebulae NGC 6818 and NGC 6210. In addition, we analyzed infrared spectra of the Orion Nebula taken with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) The primary collaborators at NASA-Ames were Drs. R. H. Rubin, A. G. C. M. Tielens, S. W. J. Colgan, and S. D. Lord (Tielens & Lord has since changed institutions). Other collaborators include Drs. P. G. Martin (CITA, Toronto), G. J. Ferland (U. KY), J. A. Baldwin (CTIO, Chile), J. J. Hester (ASU), D. K. Walter (SCSU), and P. Harrington (U. MD). In addition to the Principal Investigator, Professor Reginald J. Dufour of the Department of Space Physics & Astronomy, the research also involved two students, Mr. Matthew Browning and Mr. Brent Buckalew. Mr. Browning will be graduating from Rice in 1999 May with a B.A. degree in Physics and Mr. Buckalew continues as a graduate student in our department, having recently received a NASA GSRP research fellowship (sponsored by Ames). The collaboration was very productive, with two refereed papers already appearing in the literature, several others in preparation, numerous meeting presentations and two press releases. Some of our research accomplishments are highlighted below. Attached to the report are copies of the two major publications. Note that this research continues to date and related extensions of it recently has been awarded time with the HST for 1999-2000.

  18. A MODEL OF THE SPECTRAL EVOLUTION OF PULSAR WIND NEBULAE

    SciTech Connect

    Tanaka, Shuta J.; Takahara, Fumio

    2010-06-01

    We study the spectral evolution of pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) taking into account the energy injected when they are young. We model the evolution of the magnetic field inside a uniformly expanding PWN. Considering time-dependent injection from the pulsar and coolings by radiative and adiabatic losses, we solve the evolution of the particle distribution function. The model is calibrated by fitting the calculated spectrum to the observations of the Crab Nebula at an age of a thousand years. The spectral evolution of the Crab Nebula in our model shows that the flux ratio of TeV {gamma}-rays to X-rays increases with time, which implies that old PWNe are faint in X-rays, but not in TeV {gamma}-rays. The increase of this ratio is because the magnetic field decreases with time and is not because the X-ray emitting particles are cooled more rapidly than the TeV {gamma}-ray emitting particles. Our spectral evolution model matches the observed rate of the radio flux decrease of the Crab Nebula. This result implies that our magnetic field evolution model is close to the reality. Finally, from the viewpoint of the spectral evolution, only a small fraction of the injected energy from the Crab Pulsar needs to go to the magnetic field, which is consistent with previous studies.

  19. Stingray Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    This Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 image captures the infancy of the Stingray nebula (Hen-1357), the youngest known planetary nebula. In this image, the bright central star is in the middle of the green ring of gas. Its companion star is diagonally above it at 10 o'clock. A spur of gas (green) is forming a faint bridge to the companion star due to gravitational attraction. The image also shows a ring of gas (green) surrounding the central star, with bubbles of gas to the lower left and upper right of the ring. The wind of material propelled by radiation from the hot central star has created enough pressure to blow open holes in the ends of the bubbles, allowing gas to escape. The red curved lines represent bright gas that is heated by a 'shock' caused when the central star's wind hits the walls of the bubbles. The nebula is as large as 130 solar systems, but, at its distance of 18,000 light-years, it appears only as big as a dime viewed a mile away. The Stingray is located in the direction of the southern constellation Ara (the Altar). The colors shown are actual colors emitted by nitrogen (red), oxygen (green), and hydrogen (blue).

  20. Early drawings of Messier 1: pineapple or crab?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewhirst, D. W.

    1983-06-01

    Articles on the history of the Crab Nebula frequently reproduce an enigmatical drawing of it by Lord Rosse. This drawing was quickly repudiated by him and replaced by a more recognizable one which is less well known. Both drawings are discussed.

  1. A Possible Rock Art Depiction Of The A.D. 1006 Supernova Event In The American Southwest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barentine, John C.

    2006-06-01

    Accounts of a Type Ia supernova (SN), appearing in the constellation Lupus during the northern hemisphere spring of A.D. 1006, were recordedby observers in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia but no known records appear in the Americas. A petroglyph found at a Hohokam rock art site in White Tanks Regional Park near Phoenix, Arizona, occupied from A.D. 500-1100 may depict this event in context with recognizable asterisms. We compare the iconography of the glyph with the observable sky from the latitude of the site as well as the widely-recognized pictograph showing the A.D. 1054 Crab Nebula SN event at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Neighboring glyphs on the same rock face may represent constellations in the Hohokam sky, unknown from other sources.

  2. Chandra Associates Pulsar and Historic Supernova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-01-01

    SAN DIEGO -- Scientists using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found new evidence that a pulsar in the constellation of Sagittarius was created when a massive star exploded, witnessed by Chinese astronomers in the year 386 AD. If confirmed, this will be only the second pulsar to be clearly associated with a historic event. These results were presented today by Victoria Kaspi and Mallory Roberts of McGill University at the American Astronomical Society meeting. Also participating in the research were Gautum Vasisht from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Eric Gotthelf from Columbia University, Michael Pivovaroff from Therma-Wave, Inc., and Nobuyuki Kawai from the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Japan. The scientists used Chandra to locate the pulsar exactly at the geometric center of the supernova remnant known as G11.2-0.3. This location provides very strong evidence that the pulsar, a neutron star that is rotating 14 times a second, was formed in the supernova of 386 AD, and therefore has an age of 1615 years. "Determining the true ages of astronomical objects is notoriously difficult, and for this reason, historical records of supernovas are of great importance,"said Kaspi."In roughly the past 2,000 years, fewer than 10 reports of probable supernovae have been archived mostly by Asian astronomers. Of those handful, the remnant of 1054 AD, the Crab Nebula, was until now the only pulsar whose birth could be associated with a historic event - and, hence, the only neutron star that has a firm age." Between mid-April and mid-May in the year 386 AD, a young "guest star", presumably a supernova, was recorded by Chinese observers in the direction of the sky now known as the constellation of Sagittarius. In the 1970s, radio astronomers discovered an expanding nebula of gas and high-energy particles, called G11.2-0.3, that is believed to be the remnant of that explosion. In 1997, a team of X-ray astronomers used Japan’s ASCA satellite to discover a pulsar

  3. Implications of HESS Observations of Pulsar Wind Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jager, Ocker C.; Djannati-Ataï, Arache

    Even before the discovery of pulsars, pulsar wind nebulae (PWN) like the Crab Nebula were identified as belonging to a class of cosmic radio sources with rela-tivistic electrons moving in magnetized plasmas to give the continuum radiation as observed. Visionaries like [36] already predicted that we should be able to measure the magnetic field strength in PWN using the combination of synchrotron and inverse Compton (IC) radiation. Following this, [43] were the first to provide us with a sophisticated one dimensional (1D) magneto hydrodynamical models (MHD) model of the Crab Nebula, which predicted a magnetic field strength distribution, consistent with broadband multi-wavelength (radio through very high energy gamma-ray) constraints [12,25, 39].

  4. Discovery of TeV gamma-ray emission from the pulsar wind nebula 3C 58 by MAGIC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Coto, Rubén

    2016-07-01

    The pulsar wind nebula (PWN) 3C 58 is one of the historical very-high-energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma-ray source candidates. It has been compared to the Crab Nebula due to their morphological similarities. This object was detected by Fermi-LAT with a spectrum extending beyond 100 GeV. We analyzed 81 hours of 3C 58 data taken with the MAGIC telescopes and we detected VHE gamma-ray emission for the first time at TeV energies with a significance of 5.7 sigma and an integral flux of 0.65% C.U. above 1 TeV. According to our results 3C 58 is the least luminous PWN ever detected at VHE and the one with the lowest flux at VHE to date. We compare our results with the expectations of time-dependent models in which electrons up-scatter photon fields. The best representation favors a distance to the PWN of 2 kpc and Far Infrared (FIR) comparable to CMB photon fields. Hadronic contribution from the hosting supernova remnant (SNR) requires unrealistic energy budget given the density of the medium, disfavoring cosmic ray acceleration in the SNR as origin of the VHE gamma-ray emission.

  5. Ant nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc .

    The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera.

    The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma.

    The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed.

    Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way

  6. The Gum Nebula and Related Problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Proceedings of a symposium concerning the Gum Nebula (GN) and related topics are reported. Papers presented include: Colin Gum and the discovery of the GN; identification of the GN as the fossil Stromgren sphere of Vela X Supernova; size and shape of GN; formation of giant H-2 regions following supernova explosions; radio astronomy Explorer 1 observations of GN; cosmic ray effects in the GN; low intensity H beta emission from the interstellar medium; and how to recognize and analyze GN. Astronomical charts and diagrams are included.

  7. Planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gieseking, F.

    1983-02-01

    The first planetary nebula (PN) was discovered by Darquier in 1779. In 1981, a compilation of galactic PN listed a total of 1455 objects. Outside the Milky Way Galaxy, PN are currently known in the Magellanic Clouds and in several members of the local group of galaxies. The PN have a rich emission-line spectrum, which makes it possible to recognize them at large distances. A central stellar object can be observed within the nebula. In 1927, spectral lines at 4959 A and 5007 A emitted by the PN could finally be identified as 'forbidden lines' of O(++). The life expectancy of a PN, estimated on the basis of the observed expansion rate, is only about 30,000 years. The PN have a number of interesting characteristics which are partly related to the high effective temperature and luminosity of the central stars, the presence of a particle system under extreme physical conditions, and the stellar material provided by the PN for the interstellar medium. Attention is given to the determination of the distance of PN, the Shklovsky distances, and two mysterious aspects related to the spectrum

  8. Doradus Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A panoramic view of a vast, sculpted area of gas and dust where thousands of stars are being born has been captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

    The image, taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, is online at http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2001/21 and http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc . The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    The photo offers an unprecedented, detailed view of the entire inner region of the fertile, star-forming 30 Doradus Nebula. The mosaic picture shows that ultraviolet radiation and high-speed material unleashed by the stars in the cluster, called R136 (the large blue blob left of center), are weaving a tapestry of creation and destruction, triggering the collapse of looming gas and dust clouds and forming pillar-like structures that incubate newborn stars.

    The 30 Doradus Nebula is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located 170,000 light-years from Earth. Nebulas like 30 Doradus are signposts of recent star birth. High-energy ultraviolet radiation from young, hot, massive stars in R136 causes surrounding gaseous material to glow. Previous Hubble telescope observations showed that R136 contains several dozen of the most massive stars known, each about 100 times the mass of the Sun and about 10 times as hot. These stellar behemoths formed about 2 million years ago.

    The stars in R136 produce intense 'stellar winds,' streams of material traveling at several million miles an hour. These winds push the gas away from the cluster and compress the inner regions of the surrounding gas and dust clouds (seen in the image as the pinkish material). The intense pressure triggers the collapse of parts of the clouds, producing a new star formation around the central cluster. Most stars in the nursery are not visible because they are still encased in cocoons of gas and dust.

    This mosaic image of 30 Doradus consists of five overlapping

  9. Expectation on Observation of Supernova Remnants with the LHAASO Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Ye; Cao, Zhen; Chen, Songzhan; Chen, Yang; Cui, Shuwang; He, Huihai; Huang, Xingtao; Ma, Xinhua; Yuan, Qiang; Zhang, Xiao; LHAASO Collaboration

    2016-07-01

    Supernova remnants (SNRs) are believed to be the most important acceleration sites for cosmic rays (CRs) below ∼1015 eV in the Galaxy. High-energy photons, either directly from the shocks of the SNRs or indirectly from the interaction between SNRs and the nearby clouds, are crucial probes for the CR acceleration. Big progresses on observations of SNRs have been achieved by space- and ground-based γ-ray facilities. However, whether γ-rays come from accelerated hadrons or not, as well as their connection with the CRs observed at Earth, remains in debate. Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO), a next-generation experiment, is designed to survey the northern part of the very high energy γ-ray sky from ∼0.3 TeV to PeV with the sensitivity of ≲1% of the Crab Nebula flux. In this paper, we indicate that LHAASO will be dedicated to enlarging the γ-ray SNR samples and improving the spectral and morphological measurements. These measurements, especially at energies above 30 TeV, will be important for us to finally understand the CR acceleration in SNRs.

  10. A Smoking Gun in the Carina Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamaguchi, Kenji; Corcoran, M. F.; Ezoe, Y.; Townsley, L.; Broos, P.; Gruendl, R.; Vaidya, K.; White, S. M.; Strohmayer, T.; Petre, R.; Chu, Y.-H.

    2009-09-01

    Massive stars are born from giant molecular clouds along with many lower mass stars, forming a stellar cluster or association. They dominate the pressure of the interstellar gas through their strong UV radiation, stellar winds and, ultimately, supernova explosions at the end of their life. These processes help the formation of the next generation of stars, but this trigger of star formation is not yet well understood. The Carina Nebula is one of the youngest, most active sites of massive star formation in our Galaxy. In this nebula, we have discovered a bright X-ray source that has persisted for ˜30 years. The soft X-ray spectrum, consistent with a kT ˜128 eV blackbody with mild extinction, and no counterpart in the optical and infrared wavelengths indicate that it is a 106 year-old neutron star. Current star formation theory does not allow the progenitor of the neutron star and the other massive stars in the Carina Nebula (in particular Eta Carinae) to be coeval. This result suggests that the Carina Nebula experienced at least two episodes of massive star formation. The neutron star may be responsible for part or all of the diffuse X-ray emission which permeates the Nebula.