The G292.0+1.8 pulsar wind nebula in the mid-infrared
Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, Politekhnicheskaya 26, St. Petersburg, 194021, Russia e-mail: email@example.com
2 Academical Physical Techonological University, Khlopina 2-8, St. Petersburg, 194021, Russia
3 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional SPM, Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, Ensenada, BC, Mexico
Accepted: 21 September 2009
Context. G292.0+1.8 is a Cas A-like supernova remnant that contains the young pulsar PSR J1124-5916 powering a compact torus-like pulsar wind nebula visible in X-rays. A likely counterpart to the nebula has been detected in the optical VRI bands.
Aims. To confirm the counterpart candidate nature, we examined archival mid-infrared data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Methods. Broad-band images taken at 4.5, 8, 24, and 70 μm were analyzed and compared with available optical and X-ray data.
Results. The extended counterpart candidate is firmly detected in the 4.5 and 8 μm bands. It is brighter and more extended in the bands than in the optical, and its position and morphology agree well with the coordinates and morphology of the torus-like pulsar wind nebula in X-rays. The source is not visible in 24 and 70 μm images, which are dominated by bright emission from the remnant shell and filaments. We compiled the infrared fluxes of the nebula, which probably contains a contribution from an unresolved pulsar in its center, with the optical and X-ray data. The resulting unabsorbed multiwavelength spectrum is described by power laws of significantly steeper slope in the infrared-optical than in X-rays, implying a double-knee spectral break between the optical and X-rays. The 24 and 70 μm flux upper limits suggest a second break and a flatter spectrum at the long wavelength limit. These features are common to two other pulsar wind nebulae associated with the remnants B0540-69.3 and 3C 58 and observed in all three ranges.
Conclusions. The position, morphology, and spectral properties of the detected source allow us to confirm that it is the infrared-optical counterpart to both the pulsar and its wind nebula system in the G292.0+1.8 supernova remnant.
Key words: ISM: supernova remnants / pulsars: individual: PSR J1124-5916 / stars: winds, outflows / infrared: general / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / ISM: individual objects: G292.0+1.8
© ESO, 2009