HEAD 2000, November 2000
Session 36. Isolated Pulsars
Oral, Thursday, November 9, 2000, 1:00-2:30pm, Pago Pago Ballroom

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[36.04] Results of a Deep Chandra Observation of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar

M.C. Weisskopf (NASA/MSFC), W. Becker (MPE), R. Elsner (NASA/MSFC), S. Kahn (Columbia University), J. Kolodziejczak (NASA/MSFC), S. Murray (SAO), S. O'Dell (NASA/MFC), F. Paerels (Columbia University), N. Shibazaki (Rikkyo University), D Swartz (USRA/MSFC), A. Tennant (NASA/MSFC), J. Truemper (MPE), S.N. Zhang (UAH)

The Crab Nebula and pulsar were observed for a total of 150 ksec with the LETG/HRC-S combination aboard the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in 2000, January. One of the principal aims of the experiment was to study the emission of from the pulsar as a function of pulse phase. Neutron stars are believed to be formed with core temperatures of Tc ~ 1011 K. As the pulsar is the youngest known neutron star with an age of only 940 yrs, it should be possible to observe thermal emission from the hot stellar surface which in turn constrains equations of state. The pulsar, on the other hand, is a powerful non-thermal emitter, powering an X-ray bright synchrotron nebula which, in Einstein and ROSAT observations, overshadowed the fainter thermal surface emission. Making use of the high angular resolution provided by Chandra we were able to detect X-rays from the Crab-pulsar at all pulse phases. We discuss whether this detection is indeed of thermal emission or of a faint synchrotron component of the pulsed emission from the magnetosphere. We further report on dynamical effects observed in the pulsar-wind outflow and the analysis of the LETG spectral data, especially near the oxygen edge. The results of the spectral analysis has interesting implications for the composition of the interstellar medium.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: martin.weisskopf@msfc.nasa.gov

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