159 articles – 2004 Notices  [english version]
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Astrophysical Journal 694 (2009) 12-17
On the evolution of the Gamma- and X-ray luminosities of Pulsar Wind Nebulae
F. Mattana1, 2, M. Falanga3, D. Götz3, R. Terrier1, P. Esposito2, A. Pellizzoni2, A. De Luca2, V. Marandon1, A. Goldwurm1, 3, P. Caraveo2

Pulsar wind nebulae are a prominent class of very high energy (E > 0.1 TeV) Galactic sources. Their Gamma-ray spectra are interpreted as due to inverse Compton scattering of ultrarelativistic electrons on the ambient photons, whereas the X-ray spectra are due to synchrotron emission. We investigate the relation between the Gamma- and-X-ray emission and the pulsars' spin-down luminosity and characteristic age. We find that the distance-independent Gamma- to X-ray flux ratio of the nebulae is inversely proportional to the spin-down luminosity, (\propto \dot{E}^-1.9), while it appears proportional to the characteristic age, (\propto tau_c^2.2), of the parent pulsar. We interpret these results as due to the evolution of the electron energy distribution and the nebular dynamics, supporting the idea of so-called relic pulsar wind nebulae. These empirical relations provide a new tool to classify unidentified diffuse Gamma-ray sources and to estimate the spin-down luminosity and characteristic age of rotation powered pulsars with no detected pulsation from the X- and Gamma-ray properties of the associated pulsar wind nebulae. We apply these relations to predict the spin-down luminosity and characteristic age of four (so far unpulsing) candidate pulsars associated to wind nebulae.
1 :  APC - UMR 7164 - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
2 :  Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica cosmica - INAF
3 :  IRFU - Institut de Recherches sur les lois Fondamentales de l'Univers (ex DAPNIA)
Physique/Astrophysique/Cosmologie et astrophysique extra-galactique

Planète et Univers/Astrophysique/Cosmologie et astrophysique extra-galactique

Planète et Univers/Astrophysique
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