Volume 421, Number 3, July III 2004
|1063 - 1073
|Interstellar and circumstellar matter
|29 June 2004
Axially symmetric relativistic MHD simulations of Pulsar Wind Nebulae in Supernova Remnants
On the origin of torus and jet-like features
Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 2, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
Corresponding author: L. Del Zanna, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 23 March 2004
The structure and the evolution of Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe) are studied by means of two-dimensional axisymmetric relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (RMHD) simulations. After the first imaging of the Crab Nebula with Chandra, a growing number of objects has been found to show in the X-rays spatial features such as rings and jets, that clearly cannot be accounted for within the standard framework of one-dimensional semi-analytical models. The most promising explanation suggested so far is based on the combined effects of the latitude dependence of the pulsar wind energy flux, shaping the wind termination shock and naturally providing a higher equatorial emission, and of the wind magnetization, likely responsible for the jet collimation by hoop stresses downstream of the shock. This scenario is investigated here by following the evolution of a PWN interacting with the confining Supernova Remnant (SNR), from the free expansion to the beginning of the reverberation phase. Our results confirm the oblate shape of the wind termination shock and the formation of a polar jet with supersonic velocities () for high enough values of the equatorial wind magnetization parameter ().
Key words: ISM: supernova remnants / ISM: jets and outflows / stars: pulsars: general / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / shock waves / relativity
© ESO, 2004
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