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Astron. Astrophys. 362, 711-714 (2000)

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An unresolved X-ray source inside the supernova remnant RCW 86

J. Vink 1, F. Bocchino 2,3, F. Damiani 3 and J.S. Kaastra 4

1 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of ESA, ESTEC Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
3 Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
4 SRON, Laboratory for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 21 June 2000 / Accepted 15 August 2000


We report on the discovery of an unresolved X-ray source inside the supernova remnant G315.4-2.3 (RCW 86). The source is located 7´ to the Southwest of the geometrical centre and may be close to the actual explosion centre of the supernova, which makes this a candidate for the stellar remnant associated with RCW 86. However, the presence of a possible optical counterpart with [FORMULA] at 3" from the X-ray position and evidence for long term variability means that the source is probably an active star. A better X-ray position and better X-ray spectroscopy along with an identification of the optical source are needed to exclude the X-ray source as a neutron star candidate.

Key words: stars: flare – stars: neutron – ISM: individual objects: RCW 86 – ISM: supernova remnants – X-rays: stars

Send offprint requests to: J. Vink (jvink@astro.columbia.edu)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 24, 2000