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Astron. Astrophys. 331, 821-828 (1998)

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The neutron star in the supernova remnant PKS 1209-52

V.E. Zavlin 1, 2, G.G. Pavlov 2 and J. Trümper 1

1 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, D-85740 Garching, Germany
2 The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Received 1 September 1997 / Accepted 17 November 1997


We re-analyzed X-ray data collected with the ROSAT and ASCA observatories on a candidate neutron star (NS) near the center of the supernova remnant PKS 1209-52. We fitted the observed spectra with NS atmosphere models. The hydrogen atmosphere fits yield more realistic parameters of the NS and the intervening hydrogen column than the traditional blackbody fit. In particular, for a NS of mass [FORMULA] and radius 10 km, we obtained a NS surface temperature [FORMULA]  K and distance [FORMULA]  kpc versus [FORMULA]  K and implausibly large [FORMULA]  kpc for the blackbody fit, at a 90% confidence level. Our fits suggest that the surface magnetic field is either very weak, [FORMULA]  G, or it exceeds [FORMULA]  G. The hydrogen column density inferred from the atmosphere fits, [FORMULA]  cm-2, agrees fairly well with independent estimates obtained from UV observations of nearby stars, radio data, and X-ray spectrum of the shell of the supernova remnant, whereas the blackbody and power-law fits give considerably lower and greater values, [FORMULA] and [FORMULA]  cm-2, respectively. The NS surface temperature inferred from the atmosphere fits is consistent with standard NS cooling models.

Key words: stars: neutron – supernovae: individual PKS 1209-52 – X-rays: stars – radiation mechanisms: thermal

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: March 3, 1998