AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 93 Planetary Nebulae and Supernova Remnants
Oral, Tuesday, 10:00-11:30am, January 10, 2006, Balcony C/D

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[93.04] Estimating the rates of electron acceleration in young SNR shocks using Chandra

M.D. Stage (UMass / Five College Astronomy Department), G.E. Allen, J.C. Houck, J.E. Davis (MIT)

We present evidence to support the theory that galactic cosmic rays are accelerated in the forward shocks of supernova remnants with measurements made using the Chandra X-ray Observatory. X-ray observations of young, galactic supernova remnants such as Cassiopeia A, Kepler, and Tycho are typically dominated by thermal emission from shocked ejecta. However, using our remnant mapping anlaysis technique we are able to separate the high energy continuum emission from the thermal radiation and show that the spectra are consistent with synchrotron radiation from TeV energy electrons. In particular, we have been able to measure the acceleration rates and critical frequencies of these cosmic ray electrons. Results for these young remnants shows variation in the acceleration with azimuthal position, and that in at least some locations, the acceleration rates are comparable to the theoretical maximum rate expected in the Bohm limit.

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

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