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E.V. Gotthelf (Columbia Astrophysics Lab)
An observational model is presented for the spectra of young pulsars and their structured 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 young pulsars (PSRs) and that of their associated structured pulsar nebulae (SPNe), both of which are observed to depend on spin-down energy, \dot E. The 2-10 keV spectra of the pulsars and of their nebulae are both well characterized by an absorbed power-law model with photon index, \Gamma. A linear regression fit to the two sets of indexes reveal that \GammaSPN is proportional to \GammaPSR with a correlation coefficient of r=0.96. The spectral steepening goes as \Gamma = \Gammamax + \alpha \dot E-1/2, with \Gammamax providing an observational limit on the observed spectra. We also find a systematic spectral steepening of the younger, more energetic, 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.
This work is supported by LTSA Grant NAG 5-7935 and ADP Grant NAG 5-9136.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.