Schedule Feb 10, 2006
A Plasma Mechanism explaining the Asymmetric X-ray Emission from the Supernova
B J Kellett, R Bingham, P Bryans, M Torney, H Summers, V Shapiro, DS Spicer

The interaction of the expanding shock from a supernova explosion with the surrounding environment is a powerful source of radiation in various spectral bands at different stages in the development of the supernova remnant. Studying the X-rays generated by such objects is therefore likely to reveal details of these on going interactions. For example, the X-ray emission from the relatively old supernova remnant PKS1209-52 is highly asymmetric 75% of the total emission arises from the eastern side of the shock. We describe a possible model that can explain this extra emission from the eastern lobe of the remnant as resulting from a recent encounter between the shock front and a small, dense, interstellar cloud. The particular mechanism is a plasma streaming instability known as the modified two-stream instability. The presence of the cloud makes it possible to extract some of the kinetic energy of the shock wave and convert this into X-ray emission via high-energy electrons generated from lower hybrid waves in the plasma interaction region. We have carried out 2-D fluid simulation of the interaction which agrees very well with the observed geometry of the source. Finally, the neutron star remnant of the original supernova explosion is seen to generate cyclotron absorption features in its X-ray emission spectrum that reveal the detailed dynamics of the magnetic field of the neutron star itself. Planned laboratory experiments to study the results will be outlined.

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