A Central Stellar Remnant in Puppis A

Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 37 -- Supernovae and Their Remnants
Display presentation, Wednesday, June 14, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[37.03] A Central Stellar Remnant in Puppis A

C.M.Becker (MIT), R.Petre (GSFC), P.F.Winkler (Middlebury College)

ROSAT observations of a feature near the center of the Puppis A supernova remnant suggest that it is the stellar remnant of the explosion. The presence of this feature has been known since {\em Einstein} HRI observations, but these data did not offer convincing evidence of its point-like nature. A pair of ROSAT HRI observations now show the object to be unresolved. There is no optical counterpart to a limiting R magnitiude of ${\sim}26$, nor is there a radio counterpart to a limit of 2.6 mJy at 1.4 GHz. A search of all X-ray data for pulsations has yielded a negative result. Spectral analysis of ROSAT PSPC data suggest that its properties are consistent with model predictions for a neutron star with the same age as the Puppis A remnant (${\sim}3700$ y). The large inferred space velocity (${\sim}10^3$ km s$^{-1}$) requires an asymmetrical explosion, which is supported by the fact that fast moving rich knots are found only on the opposite side of the explosion center. With an inferred mass of $> 25 M_\odot$, the Puppis A progenitor is the most massive star for which a candidate neutron star has been identified.

Wednesday program listing