AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 181 Probing the Galactic Center
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[181.12] Chandra Observations of the Cometary X-Ray Feature at the Galactic Center

C.D. Howard, M.R. Morris, M.P. Muno (UC, Los Angeles, Division of Astronomy & Astrophysics), F.K. Baganoff (Center for Space Research, MIT)

We present observations with the ACIS-I instrument on the Chandra X-ray Observatory of the cometary-shaped X-ray source located in the inner parsec of the Galactic Center. Nearly 700 ks of Chandra observations, accumulated over 4 years, of the central 10"x10" region surrounding Sgr A* show this source in the 2-8 keV X-ray band, with Lx~1034 erg s-1 and an overall hard spectral index of ~1.7. The Cometary Feature, so named due to its comet-like morphology, is undetected at radio and infrared wavelengths, and exhibits a southerly pointing 'tail' roughly 1.3 light years in length, with a softening of the spectrum as one travels from the head to the tail. We investigate the properties of the Cometary Feature under the hypothesis that it may be a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) located within the hot plasma filled cavity Sgr A West. As such, we will report upon the Cometary Feature's properties such as variability, energy loss rate, and limits on its proper motion.

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