XMMU J0541.8-6659, a new supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud⋆
1 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik Tübingen, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia
4 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile
Received: 13 August 2011
Accepted: 12 December 2011
Context. The high sensitivity of the XMM-Newton instrumentation offers the opportunity to study faint and extended sources in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies such as the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in detail. The ROSAT PSPC survey of the LMC has revealed more than 700 X-ray sources, among which there are 46 supernova remnants (SNRs) and candidates.
Aims. We have observed the field around one of the most promising SNR candidates in the ROSAT PSPC catalogue, labelled [HP99] 456 with XMM-Newton, to determine its nature.
Methods. We investigated the XMM-Newton data along with new radio-continuum, near infrared and optical data. In particular, spectral and morphological studies of the X-ray and radio data were performed.
Results. The X-ray images obtained in different energy bands reveal two different structures. Below 1.0 keV the X-ray emission shows the shell-like morphology of an SNR with a diameter of ~73 pc, one of the largest known in the LMC. For its thermal spectrum we estimate an electron temperature of (0.49 ± 0.12) keV assuming non-equilibrium ionisation. The X-ray images above 1.0 keV reveal a less extended source within the SNR emission, located 1′ west of the centre of the SNR and coincident with bright point sources detected in radio-continuum. This hard component has an extent of 0.9′ (i.e. ~13 pc at a distance of ~50 kpc) and a non-thermal spectrum. The hard source coincides in position with the ROSAT source [HP99] 456 and shows an indication for substructure.
Conclusions. We firmly identify a new SNR in the LMC with a shell-like morphology and a thermal spectrum. Assuming the SNR to be in the Sedov phase yields an age of ~23 kyr. We explore possible associations of the hard non-thermal emitting component with a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) or background active galactic nucleus (AGN).
Key words: Magellanic Clouds / ISM: supernova remnants
© ESO, 2012