A Multiwavelength Investigation of PSR J2229+6114 and its Pulsar Wind Nebula in the Radio, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Bands

NuSTAR Collaboration, VERITAS collaboration

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G106.3+2.7, commonly considered to be a composite supernova remnant (SNR), is characterized by a boomerang-shaped pulsar wind nebula (PWN) and two distinct (“head” and “tail”) regions in the radio band. A discovery of very-high-energy gamma-ray emission (Eγ > 100 GeV) followed by the recent detection of ultrahigh-energy gamma-ray emission (Eγ > 100 TeV) from the tail region suggests that G106.3+2.7 is a PeVatron candidate. We present a comprehensive multiwavelength study of the Boomerang PWN (100″ around PSR J2229+6114) using archival radio and Chandra data obtained two decades ago, a new NuSTAR X-ray observation from 2020, and upper limits on gamma-ray fluxes obtained by Fermi-LAT and VERITAS observatories. The NuSTAR observation allowed us to detect a 51.67 ms spin period from the pulsar PSR J2229+6114 and the PWN emission characterized by a power-law model with Γ = 1.52 ± 0.06 up to 20 keV. Contrary to the previous radio study by Kothes et al., we prefer a much lower PWN B-field (B ∼ 3 μG) and larger distance (d ∼ 8 kpc) based on (1) the nonvarying X-ray flux over the last two decades, (2) the energy-dependent X-ray size of the PWN resulting from synchrotron burn-off, and (3) the multiwavelength spectral energy distribution (SED) data. Our SED model suggests that the PWN is currently re-expanding after being compressed by the SNR reverse shock ∼1000 yr ago. In this case, the head region should be formed by GeV–TeV electrons injected earlier by the pulsar propagating into the low-density environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number75
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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