AAS 197, January 2001
Session 4. The Milky Way Galaxy
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[4.06] Parallel Nonthermal Filaments Near the Galactic Center: Spectral Index Variation without Aging?

T.N. LaRosa (Univ. of Wyoming), T.J.W. Lazio, N.E. Kassim (NRL), C.C. Lang (UMASS)

We report the discovery of a new grouping of nonthermal filaments (NTFs) that exhibit a uniform change in spectral index with length. These NTFs are parallel, like those in the Galactic center radio arc, and do not show the braiding of sub-filaments typical of other isolated NTFs. The spectral variation cannot be explained by simple particle aging in a source of this length. One possiblity for explaining this variation is a curved electron energy spectrum embedded in a rapidly varying magnetic field. If so a curved electron spectrum rules out shock acceleration as the mechanism responsible for energizing the electrons in these sources. This grouping of NTFs is 75 pc in projection from Sgr A, making it one of the most distance NTF systems from the GC. Hence, the mechanism that gives rise to the NTF phenomenon does not depend on proximity to Sgr A.

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