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2003ApJ...591..361G - Astrophys. J., 591, 361-365 (2003/July-1)

X-ray spectra of young pulsars and their wind nebulae: dependence on spin-down energy loss rate.


Abstract (from CDS):

An observational model is presented for the spectra of young rotation-powered pulsars and their nebulae based on a study of nine bright Crab-like pulsar systems observed with the Chandra X-ray observatory. A significant correlation is discovered between the X-ray spectra of these pulsars and that of their associated pulsar wind nebulae, both of which are observed to be a function of the spin-down energy loss rate, E{dot}. The 2-10 keV spectra of these objects are well characterized by an absorbed power-law model with photon indices, Γ, in the range of 0.6<ΓPSR<2.1 and 1.3<ΓPWN<2.3, for the pulsars and their nebulae, respectively. A linear regression fit relating these two sets of indexes yields ΓPWN=0.91±0.18+(0.66±0.11)ΓPSR, with a correlation coefficient of r=0.97. The spectra of these pulsars are found to steepen as Γ=Γmax+αE{dot}–1/2, with Γmax providing an observational limit on the spectral slopes of young rotation-powered pulsars. These results reveal basic properties of young pulsar systems, allow new observational constraints on models of pulsar wind emission, and provide a means of predicting the energetics of pulsars lacking detected pulsations.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Acceleration of Particles - Stars: Pulsars: General - Radiation Mechanisms: General - Stars: Neutron - ISM: Supernova Remnants - X-Rays: General

Simbad objects: 17

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