X-ray observations of the supernova remnant G21.5-0.9

S. Safi-Harb, I. M. Harrus, R. Petre, G. G. Pavlov, A. B. Koptsevich, D. Sanwal

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We present the analysis of archival X-ray observations of the supernova remnant (SNR) G21.5-0.9. Based on its morphology and spectral properties, G21.5-0.9 has been classified as a Crab-like SNR. For that reason, it was chosen as a Chandra calibration target. In their early analysis of part of these calibration data, Slane and coworkers discovered a low surface brightness, extended emission. They interpreted this component as the blast wave formed in the supernova explosion. XMM-Newton observations by Warwick and coworkers revealed the nonthermal nature of this emission, suggesting that it is instead an extension of the synchrotron nebula. In this paper, we revisit the Chandra analysis using new calibration data, improving the statistics by a factor of 2. We also include ROSAT and ASCA observations. Our analysis confirms the nonthermal nature of the extended emission. Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer images indicate that this component is not limb-brightened and that it shows knotty structures and a bright filament 2′ north of the center. We find no evidence of line emission from any part of the remnant. We can reject a collisional equilibrium ionization thermal model at solar abundances and nonequilibrium ionization (NEI) models (such as a plane-parallel shock model with different ionization ages and constant temperature or an NEI model with a single ionization age and a constant temperature). The entire remnant is best fitted with a power-law model with a photon index steepening away from the center. The total unabsorbed flux Fx(0.5-10 keV) is 1.1 × 10-10 ergs cm-2 s-1 with an 85% contribution from the 40″ radius core. Timing analysis of the High-Resolution Camera data failed to detect any pulsations. We put a 16% upper limit on the pulsed fraction. We derive the physical parameters of the putative pulsar and compare them with those of other plerions (such as the Crab nebula and 3C 58).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-320
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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