25 April 2002 CfA Colloquium

Bubbles, Jets & Nebulae: New Views on Pulsar Winds with Chandra

Speaker: Bryan Gaensler


Young neutron stars spin incredibly quickly, but are also slowing down at a very rapid rate. This process carries away enormous amounts of energy from the star in the form of a relativistic magnetized particle wind. The unparalleled spatial resolution of the Chandra X-ray Observatory is ideally suited for the study of these pulsar winds, allowing us to probe both the structure of the energy flow away from the pulsar and the properties of the surrounding medium. I will present some of the spectacular recent images of pulsars and their winds taken with Chandra --- these data give us new insight into the interaction of pulsars with their environment, but at the same time raise many new questions about this complicated process.

References for students:

Chevalier, 1998, Mem Soc Astron Italia, 69, 977 - chevalier.ps.gz

Gaensler et al, 1999, MNRAS, 305, 724

Gaensler et al, 2002, ApJ, 569, 878