Review Pulsar wind nebulae created by fast-moving pulsars

O. Kargaltsev, G. G. Pavlov, N. Klingler, B. Rangelov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We review multiwavelength properties of pulsar wind nebulae created by supersonically moving pulsars and the effects of pulsar motion on the pulsar wind nebulae morphologies and the ambient medium. Supersonic pulsar wind nebulae are characterized by bow-shaped shocks around the pulsar and/or cometary tails filled with the shocked pulsar wind. In the past several years significant advances in supersonic pulsar wind nebula studies have been made in deep observations with the Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observatories and the Hubble Space Telescope. In particular, these observations have revealed very diverse supersonic pulsar wind nebula morphologies in the pulsar vicinity, different spectral behaviours of long pulsar tails, the presence of puzzling outflows misaligned with the pulsar velocity and far-UV bow shocks. Here we review the current observational status focusing on recent developments and their implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number635830501
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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