Observability and diagnostics in the X-ray band of shock-cloud interactions in supernova remnants
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo “G.S.
Vaiana”, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 Dip. di Scienze Fisiche & Astronomiche, Univ. di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
3 Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, PR China
Accepted: 13 January 2010
Context. X-ray emitting features originating from the interaction of supernova shock waves with small interstellar gas clouds are revealed in many X-ray observations of evolved supernova remnants (e.g., Cygnus Loop and Vela), but their interpretation is not straightforward.
Aims. We develop a self-consistent method for the analysis and interpretation of shock-cloud interactions in middle-aged supernova remnants, which can provide the key parameters of the system and the role of relevant physical effects such as thermal conduction, without the need to perform ad-hoc numerical simulations and bother about morphology details.
Methods. We explore all the possible values of the shock speed and cloud density contrast relevant to middle-aged SNRs with a set of hydrodynamic simulations of shock-cloud interaction including the effects of thermal conduction and radiative cooling. From the simulations, we synthesize spatially and spectrally resolved focal-plane data as they would be collected with XMM-Newton/EPIC, an X-ray instrument commonly used in these studies.
Results. We develop and calibrate two diagnostic tools, the first based on the mean photon energy versus count-rate scatter plot and the second on the spectral analysis of the interaction region, that can be used to highlight the effects of thermal conduction and to derive the shock speed in case of efficient conduction at work. These tools can be used to ascertain information from X-ray observations, without the need to develop detailed and ad-hoc numerical models for the interpretation of the data.
Key words: hydrodynamics / shock waves / ISM: clouds / ISM: supernova remnants / X-rays: ISM
© ESO, 2010