Interaction of a magnetized pulsar wind with its surroundings
MHD simulations of pulsar wind nebulae
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 18 March 2003
Magnetohydrodynamical simulations are presented of a magnetized pulsar wind interacting directly with the interstellar medium, or, in the case of a surrounding supernova remnant, with the associated freely expanding ejecta of the progenitor star. In both cases the simulations show that the pulsar wind nebula will be elongated due to the dynamical influence of the toroidal magnetic fields, which confirm predictions from a semi-analytical model presented by Begelman & Li. The simulations follow the expansion of the pulsar wind nebula when the latter is bounded by a strong shock and show that the expansion can be modeled with a standard power-law expansion rate. By performing different simulations with different magnetization parameters, I show that the latter weakly correlates with the elongation of the pulsar wind nebula. The results from the simulations are applied to determine the nature of the expansion rate of the pulsar wind nebula 3C 58. It is shown that there is both observational and theoretical evidence which supports the scenario in which the pulsar wind nebula 3C 58 has caught up with the reverse shock of the associated (but undetected) supernova remnant.
Key words: pulsars: general / supernova remnants / shock waves / hydrodynamics
© ESO, 2003