XMM-Newton observations of the superbubble in N 158 in the LMC
Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen,
2 Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Berlin Institute of Technology, Hardenbergstr. 36, 10623 Berlin, Germany
3 Institut für Astronomie, Universität Wien, Türkenschanzstr. 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria
4 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstraße, 85748 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 1 February 2011
Aims. We study the diffuse X-ray emission observed in the field of view of the pulsar B 0540–69 in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) by XMM-Newton. We wish to understand the nature of this soft diffuse emission, which coincides with the superbubble in the H ii region N 158, and improve our understanding of the evolution of superbubbles.
Methods. We analyse the XMM-Newton spectra of the diffuse emission. Using the parameters obtained from the spectral fit, we perform calculations of the evolution of the superbubble. The mass loss and energy input rates are based on the initial mass function (IMF) of the observed OB association inside the superbubble.
Results. The analysis of the spectra shows that the soft X-ray emission arises from hot shocked gas surrounded by a thin shell of cooler, ionised gas. We show that the stellar winds alone cannot account for the energy inside the superbubble, but the energy release of 2−3 supernova explosions in the past ~1 Myr provides a possible explanation.
Conclusions. The combination of high sensitivity X-ray data, which permits a spectral analysis, and analytical models for superbubbles can provide insight into the evolutionary state of interstellar bubbles, if the stellar content is known.
Key words: shock waves / ISM: bubbles / evolution / HII regions / X-rays: ISM
© ESO, 2011