Observation of Wisp-like Structures in X-Rays near Vela pulsar

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Session 83 -- Supernova Remnants
Display presentation, Friday, January 14, 9:30-6:45, Salons I/II Room (Crystal Gateway)

[83.01] Observation of Wisp-like Structures in X-Rays near Vela pulsar

Craig B. Markwardt, Hakk\i\ B. \"Ogelman (Univ of Wisc--Madison)

Measurements of Vela pulsar spindown show that Vela is losing rotational energy at a rate of $I\Omega\dot\Omega \sim 7 \times 10^{36}$~ergs sec$^{-1}$, but only a small fraction ($<10^{-3}$) of that energy is observed radiating from the pulsar and its compact nebula. The remaining power is probably carried away by a relativistic wind of positrons and electrons, which should interact with the remnant and leave some characteristic emission. We report a ROSAT X-ray observation of previously undetected structures near the Vela pulsar which are evidence for this interaction. Observations reveal: (a) an elliptical wisp, stretching from north to south centered $\sim 3.5$~pc from the pulsar; (b) a harder x-ray ``trail'' which starts at Vela's apparent birthplace; and (c) a longer hard feature projecting 6.5~pc southward. The wisp can be modeled as a thermal plasma, while the harder features are consistent with power-law emission.

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