Free Access
Volume 400, Number 2, March III 2003
Page(s) 567 - 574
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars

A&A 400, 567-574 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021824

Fine-structure in the nonthermal X-ray emission of SNR RX J1713.7-3946 revealed by Chandra

Y. Uchiyama1, F. A. Aharonian2 and T. Takahashi1

1  Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8510, Japan and Department of Physics, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
2  Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Postfach 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany

(Received 10 September 2002 / Accepted 9 December 2002 )

We present morphological and spectroscopic studies of the northwest rim of the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946 based on observations by the Chandra X-ray observatory. We found a complex network of nonthermal (synchrotron) X-ray filaments, as well as a "void" type structure - a dim region of a circular shape - in the northwest rim. It is remarkable that despite distinct brightness variations, the X-ray spectra everywhere in this region can be well fitted with a power-law model with photon index ranging $\Gamma =$ 2.1-2.5. We briefly discuss some implications of these results and argue that the resolved X-ray features in the northwest rim may challenge the perceptions of the standard diffusive shock-acceleration models concerning the production, propagation and radiation of relativistic particles in supernova remnants.

Key words: radiation mechanisms: non-thermal -- ISM: supernova remnants -- ISM: cosmic rays -- stars: supernovae: individual: RX J1713.7-3946

Offprint request: Y. Uchiyama,

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