Fermi large area telescope observations of the crab pulsar and nebula

A. A. Abdo, M. Ackermann, M. Ajello, W. B. Atwood, M. Axelsson, L. Baldini, J. Ballet, G. Barbiellini, M. G. Baring, D. Bastieri, K. Bechtol, R. Bellazzini, B. Berenji, R. D. Blandford, E. D. Bloom, E. Bonamente, A. W. Borgland, J. Bregeon, A. Brez, M. BrigidaP. Bruel, T. H. Burnett, G. A. Caliandro, R. A. Cameron, F. Camilo, P. A. Caraveo, J. M. Casandjian, C. Cecchi, Ö Çelik, A. Chekhtman, C. C. Cheung, J. Chiang, S. Ciprini, R. Claus, I. Cognard, J. Cohen-Tanugi, L. R. Cominsky, J. Conrad, C. D. Dermer, A. De Angelis, A. De Luca, F. De Palma, S. W. Digel, E. Do Couto E Silva, P. S. Drell, R. Dubois, D. Dumora, C. Espinoza, C. Farnier, C. Favuzzi, S. J. Fegan, E. C. Ferrara, W. B. Focke, M. Frailis, P. C.C. Freire, Y. Fukazawa, S. Funk, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, D. Gasparrini, N. Gehrels, S. Germani, G. Giavitto, B. Giebels, N. Giglietto, F. Giordano, T. Glanzman, G. Godfrey, I. A. Grenier, M. H. Grondin, J. E. Grove, L. Guillemot, S. Guiriec, Y. Hanabata, A. K. Harding, M. Hayashida, E. Hays, R. E. Hughes, G. Jóhannesson, A. S. Johnson, R. P. Johnson, T. J. Johnson, W. N. Johnson, S. Johnston, T. Kamae, H. Katagiri, J. Kataoka, N. Kawai, M. Kerr, J. Knödlseder, M. L. Kocian, M. Kramer, F. Kuehn, M. Kuss, J. Lande, L. Latronico, S. H. Lee, M. Lemoine-Goumard, F. Longo, F. Loparco, B. Lott, M. N. Lovellette, P. Lubrano, A. G. Lyne, A. Makeev, M. Marelli, M. N. Mazziotta, J. E. McEnery, C. Meurer, P. F. Michelson, W. Mitthumsiri, T. Mizuno, A. A. Moiseev, C. Monte, M. E. Monzani, E. Moretti, A. Morselli, I. V. Moskalenko, S. Murgia, T. Nakamori, P. L. Nolan, J. P. Norris, A. Noutsos, E. Nuss, T. Ohsugi, N. Omodei, E. Orlando, J. F. Ormes, M. Ozaki, D. Paneque, J. H. Panetta, D. Parent, V. Pelassa, M. Pepe, M. Pesce-Rollins, M. Pierbattista, F. Piron, T. A. Porter, S. Rainò, R. Rando, P. S. Ray, M. Razzano, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, T. Reposeur, S. Ritz, L. S. Rochester, A. Y. Rodriguez, R. W. Romani, M. Roth, F. Ryde, H. F.W. Sadrozinski, D. Sanchez, A. Sander, P. M.Saz Parkinson, J. D. Scargle, C. Sgrò, E. J. Siskind, D. A. Smith, P. D. Smith, G. Spandre, P. Spinelli, B. W. Stappers, M. S. Strickman, D. J. Suson, H. Tajima, H. Takahashi, T. Tanaka, J. B. Thayer, J. G. Thayer, G. Theureau, D. J. Thompson, S. E. Thorsett, L. Tibaldo, D. F. Torres, G. Tosti, A. Tramacere, Y. Uchiyama, T. L. Usher, A. Van Etten, V. Vasileiou, N. Vilchez, V. Vitale, A. P. Waite, E. Wallace, P. Wang, K. Watters, P. Weltevrede, B. L. Winer, K. S. Wood, T. Ylinen, M. Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on γ-ray observations of the Crab Pulsar and Nebula using 8 months of survey data with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The high quality light curve obtained using the ephemeris provided by the Nançay and Jodrell Bank radio telescopes shows two main peaks stable in phase with energy. The first γ-ray peak leads the radio main pulse by (281 ±12 ± 21) μs, giving new constraints on the production site of non-thermal emission in pulsar magnetospheres. The first uncertainty is due to γ-ray statistics, and the second arises from the rotation parameters. The improved sensitivity and the unprecedented statistics afforded by the LAT enable precise measurement of the Crab Pulsar spectral parameters: cut-off energy at Ec = (5.8 ± 0.5 ± 1.2) GeV, spectral index of Γ = (1.97 ± 0.02 ± 0.06) and integral photon flux above 100 MeV of (2.09 ± 0.03 ± 0.18) × 10-6 cm-2 s-1. The first errors represent the statistical error on the fit parameters, while the second ones are the systematic uncertainties. Pulsed γ-ray photons are observed up to 20 GeV which precludes emission near the stellar surface, below altitudes of around 4-5 stellar radii in phase intervals encompassing the two main peaks. A detailed phase-resolved spectral analysis is also performed: the hardest emission from the Crab Pulsar comes from the bridge region between the two γ-ray peaks while the softest comes from the falling edge of the second peak. The spectrum of the nebula in the energy range 100 MeV-300 GeV is well described by the sum of two power laws of indices Γsync = (3.99 ± 0.12 ± 0.08) and ΓIC = (1.64 ± 0.05 ± 0.07), corresponding to the falling edge of the synchrotron and the rising edge of the inverse Compton (IC) components, respectively. This latter, which links up naturally with the spectral data points of Cherenkov experiments, is well reproduced via IC scattering from standard magnetohydrodynamic nebula models, and does not require any additional radiation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1267
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume708
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Gamma rays: observations
  • ISM: individual (Crab Nebula)
  • Pulsars: individual (Crab)
  • Supernova remnants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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