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Astron. Astrophys. 352, 712-722 (1999)

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The nature of the Vela X-ray "jet"

The Rayleigh-Taylor instability and the origin of filamentary structures in the Vela supernova remnant

Vasilii Gvaramadze *  1,2,3

1 Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, Georgian Academy of Sciences, A.Kazbegi ave. 2-a, Tbilisi, 380060, Georgia
2 Sternberg State Astronomical Institute, Universitetskij Prospect 13, Moscow, 119899, Russia
3 Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Strada Costiera 11, P.O. Box 586, 34100 Trieste, Italy

Received 4 May 1998 / Accepted 29 October 1999


The nature of the Vela X-ray "jet", recently discovered by Markwardt & Ögelman (1995), is examined. It is suggested that the "jet" arises along the interface of domelike deformations of the Rayleigh-Taylor unstable shell of the Vela supernova remnant; thereby the "jet" is interpreted as a part of the general shell of the remnant. The origin of deformations as well as the general structure of the remnant are discussed in the framework of a model based on a cavity explosion of a supernova star. It is suggested that the shell deformations viewed at various angles appear as filamentary structures visible throughout the Vela supernova remnant at radio, optical, and X-ray wavelengths. A possible origin of the nebula of hard X-ray emission detected by Willmore et al. (1992) around the Vela pulsar is proposed.

Key words: shock waves – stars: pulsars: individual: Vela X – ISM: bubbles – ISM: individual objects: Vela SNR – ISM: supernova remnants – X-rays: ISM

* Address for correspondence: Krasin Str., 19, ap. 81, Moscow, 123056, Russia (vgvaram@mx.iki.rssi.ru)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: December 2, 1999