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S. Safi-Harb (U. of Manitoba)
Composite-type supernova remnants (SNRs) are characterized by the presence of a shell-like component associated with the supernova blast wave (and/or ejecta), plus a centrally-filled component usually hinting at the presence of a compact engine or a pulsar-powered nebula (plerion). X-ray observations of the SNR shells provide crucial information on the poorly known ages, distances, progenitor stars, and dynamics of the supernovae that created them. On the other hand, the study of their plerionic component sheds light on the collapsed cores of the explosions, the poorly known initial distribution of pulsar magnetic field strengths and spin periods. I will review our X-ray study of a selected sample of SNRs (G290.0+1.8, G292.2-0.5, G65.7+1.2, G41.1-0.3, and G39.2-0.6) using the Chandra X-ray observatory. Chandra's superb angular resolution combined with its spectroscopic capabilities allowed us to 1) search for and find neutron stars and/or plerions; and 2) address the properties of the supernova explosions that created them.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.