The properties of non-thermal X-ray filaments in young supernova remnants
Institute of Physics and Astronomy, University of Potsdam,
2 DESY, 15738 Zeuthen, Germany
Accepted: 26 July 2012
Context. Young supernova remnants (SNRs) exhibit narrow filaments of non-thermal X-ray emission whose widths can be limited either by electron energy losses or damping of the magnetic field.
Aims. We want to investigate whether or not different models of these filaments can be observationally tested.
Methods. Using observational parameters of four historical remnants, we calculated the filament profiles and compared the spectra of the filaments with those of the total non-thermal emission. For that purpose, we solved a one-dimensional stationary transport equation for the isotropic differential number density of the electrons.
Results. We find that the difference between the spectra of filament and total non-thermal emission above 1 keV is more pronounced in the damping model than in the energy-loss model.
Conclusions. A considerable damping of the magnetic field can result in an observable difference between the spectra of filament and total non-thermal emission, thus potentially permitting an observational discrimination between the energy-loss model and the damping model of the X-ray filaments.
Key words: acceleration of particles / ISM: supernova remnants / ISM: magnetic fields / X-rays: ISM
© ESO, 2012