8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 24 Supernova Remnants and the Interstellar Medium
Poster, Friday, September 10, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[24.16] Neon Light Illuminates the Shell of Another Former Star: Supernova Remnant 3C58

E.V. Gotthelf, D.J. Helfand, L. Newburgh (Columbia University)

Deep X-ray imaging spectroscopy of the bright pulsar wind nebula 3C58 reveals a Neon-rich thermal X-ray shell superimposed on the bright nonthermal pulsar wind nebula emission. Radially resolved spectra obtained with the XMM-Newton telescope are well-characterized by a power-law model with the addition of a soft thermal emission component in varying proportions. These fits reproduce the previously noted increase in the spectral index with radius attributed to synchrotron burn-off of high energy electrons. Most interestingly, a newly resolved thermal component is shown to map out a shell-like structure approximately 6' in diameter centered on the pulsar. The presence of a strong emission line corresponding to the Ne9 He-like transition requires an overabundance of ~3 \times [Ne/Ne\sun] using the Raymond-Smith plasma model. The best fit temperature kT ~0.23 keV is essentially independent of radius. The origin of the Neon emission supports a massive star progenitor and the shell mass and diameter provide interesting constraints on the evolution of this remnant which houses one of the youngest pulsars in the Galaxy.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.