Evidence of a curved synchrotron spectrum in the supernova remnant SN 1006.
ALLEN G.E., HOUCK J.C. and STURNER S.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
A joint spectral analysis of some Chandra ACIS X-ray data and Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope radio data was performed for 13 small regions along the bright northeastern rim of the supernova remnant SN 1006. These data were fitted with a synchrotron radiation model. The nonthermal electron spectrum used to compute the photon emission spectra is the traditional exponentially cut off power law, with one notable difference: The power-law index is not a constant. It is a linear function of the logarithm of the momentum. This functional form enables us to show, for the first time, that the synchrotron spectrum of SN 1006 seems to flatten with increasing energy. The effective power-law index of the electron spectrum is 2.2 at 1 GeV (i.e., radio synchrotron-emitting momenta) and 2.0 at about 10 TeV (i.e., X-ray synchrotron-emitting momenta). This amount of change in the index is qualitatively consistent with theoretical models of the amount of curvature in the proton spectrum of the remnant. The evidence of spectral curvature implies that cosmic rays are dynamically important instead of being ``test'' particles. The spectral analysis also provides a means of determining the critical frequency of the synchrotron spectrum associated with the highest-energy electrons. The critical frequency seems to vary along the northeastern rim, with a maximum value of 1.1+1.0–0.5x1017 Hz. This value implies that the electron diffusion coefficient can be no larger than a factor of ∼4.5-21 times the Bohm diffusion coefficient if the velocity of the forward shock is in the range 2300-5000 km/s. Since the coefficient is close to the Bohm limit, electrons are accelerated nearly as fast as possible in the regions where the critical frequency is about 1017 Hz.
Acceleration of Particles - ISM: Cosmic Rays - ISM: Individual: Alphanumeric: SN 1006 - Radiation Mechanisms: Nonthermal - ISM: Supernova Remnants - X-Rays: General