2023 journal article

X-Ray Studies of the Pulsar PSR J1420–6048 and Its TeV Pulsar Wind Nebula in the Kookaburra Region

The Astrophysical Journal.

By: J. Park, C. Kim, J. Woo, H. An, K. Mori, S. Reynolds, S. Safi-Harb

Source: ORCID
Added: March 9, 2023

Abstract We present a detailed analysis of broadband X-ray observations of the pulsar PSR J1420−6048 and its wind nebula (PWN) in the Kookaburra region with Chandra, XMM-Newton, and NuSTAR. Using the archival XMM-Newton and new NuSTAR data, we detected 68 ms pulsations of the pulsar and characterized its X-ray pulse profile, which exhibits a sharp spike and a broad bump separated by ∼0.5 in phase. A high-resolution Chandra image revealed a complex morphology of the PWN: a torus-jet structure, a few knots around the torus, one long (∼7′) and two short tails extending in the northwest direction, and a bright diffuse emission region to the south. Spatially integrated Chandra and NuSTAR spectra of the PWN out to 2.′5 are well-described by a power-law model with a photon index Γ ≈ 2. A spatially resolved spectroscopic study, as well as NuSTAR radial profiles of the 3–7 keV and 7–20 keV brightness, showed a hint of spectral softening with increasing distance from the pulsar. A multiwavelength spectral energy distribution (SED) of the source was then obtained by supplementing our X-ray measurements with published radio, Fermi-LAT, and H.E.S.S. data. The SED and radial variations of the X-ray spectrum were fit with a leptonic multizone emission model. Our detailed study of the PWN may be suggestive of (1) particle transport dominated by advection, (2) a low magnetic-field strength ( B ∼ 5 μ G), and (3) electron acceleration to ∼PeV energies.