May 27, 2019

Astronomers investigate pulsar wind nebula DA 495

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, space travel

Astronomers have carried out a multiwavelength investigation of a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), designated DA 495, to unveil its mysterious physical nature. Results of the study, based on observations using HAWC and VERITAS ground-based observatories as well as NASA’s NuSTAR spacecraft, are presented in a paper published May 17 on arXiv.org.

Pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) are nebulae powered by the wind of a pulsar. Pulsar wind is composed of charged particles; when it collides with the pulsar’s surroundings, in particular with the slowly expanding supernova ejecta, it develops a PWN.

Particles in PWNe lose their energy to radiation and become less energetic with distance from the central pulsar. Multiwavelength studies of these objects, including X-ray observations, especially using spatially-integrated spectra in the X-ray band, have the potential of uncovering important information about particle flow in these nebulae. This could unveil important insights into the nature of PWNe in general.

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