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S. Safi-Harb (NASA/GSFC and University of Manitoba)
Composite-type supernova remnants (SNRs) are characterized by the presence of a shell-like component associated with the supernova blast wave (and/or ejecta), plus a central component usually hinting at the presence of a compact engine or a pulsar-powered plerion (plerionic composites). In some cases the central emission is thermal and arise from clumps that survive the SNR shock (mixed-morphology SNRs). An emergent class of SNRs show evidence of a jet(s) interacting (in few cases) with the SNR shell, and giving the remnant an unusual composite morphology.
X-ray observations of composites, combined with observations at other wavelengths (e.g. radio and infra-red), have in the past decade advanced our understanding of the different physical processes leading to their complicated morphology, and along the same line shed light on the nature of their powering engine, the physical conditions in the ambient medium, and the acceleration of cosmic rays.
I will highlight the X-ray observations of a few selected candidates, whose broadband X-ray study (ROSAT, ASCA, RXTE, CHANDRA) has unveiled the nature of their emission, and at the same time opened the window to questions that have to await future obsevations with CHANDRA and XMM.