Shedding new light on the Crab with polarized X-rays

M. Chauvin, H. G. Florén, M. Friis, M. Jackson, T. Kamae, J. Kataoka, T. Kawano, M. Kiss, V. Mikhalev, T. Mizuno, N. Ohashi, T. Stana, H. Tajima, H. Takahashi, N. Uchida, M. Pearce*

*この研究の対応する著者

    研究成果: Article査読

    22 被引用数 (Scopus)

    抄録

    Strong magnetic fields, synchrotron emission, and Compton scattering are omnipresent in compact celestial X-ray sources. Emissions in the X-ray energy band are consequently expected to be linearly polarized. X-ray polarimetry provides a unique diagnostic to study the location and fundamental mechanisms behind emission processes. The polarization of emissions from a bright celestial X-ray source, the Crab, is reported here for the first time in the hard X-ray band (~20-160 keV). The Crab is a complex system consisting of a central pulsar, a diffuse pulsar wind nebula, as well as structures in the inner nebula including a jet and torus. Measurements are made by a purpose-built and calibrated polarimeter, PoGO+. The polarization vector is found to be aligned with the spin axis of the pulsar for a polarization fraction, PF = (20.9 ± 5.0)%. This is higher than that of the optical diffuse nebula, implying a more compact emission site, though not as compact as, e.g., the synchrotron knot. Contrary to measurements at higher energies, no significant temporal evolution of phase-integrated polarisation parameters is observed. The polarization parameters for the pulsar itself are measured for the first time in the X-ray energy band and are consistent with observations at optical wavelengths.

    本文言語English
    論文番号7816
    ジャーナルScientific reports
    7
    1
    DOI
    出版ステータスPublished - 2017 12 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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