AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 102 Neutron Stars
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[102.06] A Dual Attack: Pulsar Wind Nebulae Simulations and X-Ray Observations of MSH 11-62

J. P. Bernstein, P. A. Hughes (U. Michigan), I. M. Harrus (Goddard Space Flight Center), P. O. Slane, B. M. Gaensler (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), J. P. Hughes (Rutgers U.), D. Moffett (Furman U.), R. Dodson (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

We present the results from a joint computational and observational study of the interaction of a light, relativistic pulsar wind with the dense, slow-moving ISM flow resulting from the space motion of the pulsar. Such a scenario has been suggested as the origin of asymmetric pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe). We discuss the application of an existing adaptive mesh, axisymmetric, relativistic hydrodynamic code to the simulation of such a flow, and in particular, the modification to the solver necessitated by the ultra relativistic nature of the pulsar wind. We present the analysis of a 50 kilosecond Chandra X-ray Observatory observation of the supernova remnant (SNR) MSH 11-62. We show that the spectrum of the central region of the SNR above 2 keV is dominated by non-thermal emission consistent with the presence of a PWN of angular radius ~ 5 arcsec (implying a physical radius ~ 0.1 pc at a distance of 3.5 kpc). Our spectral analysis implies the presence of a compact object with a spectral index \Gamma~ 1.3 and a spin-down energy \dot{E}~ 1035 erg s-1, a value sufficient to conclude that the putative PWN is rotationally powered. Our timing analysis yields a null result and so pulses from the compact object remain undetected.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~jpbernst/Research/summary.pdf. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jpbernst@umich.edu

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