On the origin of variable gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula

Дата и время публикации : 2010-11-08T13:36:17Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
S. S. Komissarov
M. Lyutikov

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: submitted to MNRAS, typos corrected, new references added, additional issues discussed
Первичная категория: astro-ph.HE

Все категории : astro-ph.HE, physics.comp-ph, physics.plasm-ph

Краткий обзор статьи: The oblique geometry of pulsar wind termination shock ensures that the Doppler beaming has a strong impact on the shock emission. We illustrate this using recent relativistic MHD simulations of the Crab Nebula and also show that the observed size, shape, and distance from the pulsar of the Crab Nebula inner knot are consistent with its interpretation as a Doppler-boosted emission from the termination shock. If the electrons responsible for the synchrotron gamma-rays are accelerated only at the termination shock then their short life-time ensures that these gamma-rays originate close to the shock and are also strongly effected by the Doppler beaming. As the result, bulk of the observed synchrotron gamma-rays of the Crab Nebula around 100 MeV may come from its inner knot. This hypothesis is consistent with the observed optical flux of the inner knot provided its optical-gamma spectral index is the same as the injection spectral index found in the Kennel & Coroniti model of the nebula spectrum. The observed variability of synchrotron gamma-ray emission can be caused by the instability of the termination shock discovered in recent numerical simulations. Given the small size of the knot, it is possible that the September 2010 gamma-ray flare of the Crab Nebula also came from the knot, though the actual mechanism remains unclear. The model predicts correlation of the temporal variability of the synchrotron gamma-ray flux in the Fermi and AGILE windows with the variability of the unpulsed optical flux from within 1 arcsec of the Crab pulsar.

Category: Physics