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Session 46 - Supernova Remnants.
Display session, Tuesday, January 14
We present an analysis of the X-ray data collected during an observation of the supernova remnant (SNR) MSH 11-62 by the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA\/). We show that MSH 11-62 is a composite remnant whose X-ray emission comes from two distinct contributions: a nonthermal, synchrotron emission, dominating the total flux above 2 keV, and localized to a region of radius 3^\prime (consistent with a point source) and a thermal component, extended up to a radius of \sim5^\prime and detected only at energies below 2 keV. The spatial and spectral analysis imply, in the context of empirical models, the presence of a neutron star, losing energy at a rate of about \dot E \sim 2.2\times10^36 ergs s^-1. The period of the neutron star is estimated to be around 0.380 sec although our timing analysis leads to only an upper limit to the pulsed fraction of \sim10%. This is consistent with the lack of a radio pulsar in the remnant, which may be due to insufficient sensitivity of published searches or may indicate that the pulsed emission from the rapidly rotating compact object that should be powering the synchrotron nebula is beamed and our viewing direction is unfavorable. In either event, the central neutron star deposits much of its spin-down energy into the surrounding synchrotron nebula where, through direct imaging with broadband satellites such as ASCA\/, it is possible to study the energetics and evolution of the compact remnant.
Program listing for Tuesday