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Sharpening NuSTAR X-ray Images of Pulsar Wind Nebula G21.5-0.9

Presentation #130.04 in the session “Neutron Stars”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Sharpening NuSTAR X-ray Images of Pulsar Wind Nebula G21.5-0.9

G21.5-0.9 is a young Pulsar Wind Nebula (PWN) within a supernova remnant (SNR) that emits strongly in the X-ray band. Although soft X-ray telescopes such as Chandra and Hitomi have observed G21.5-0.9 in the low X-ray energy regime from 2 - 8 keV, many mysteries about the mechanics of G21.5-0.9 remain. The NuSTAR X-ray Observatory focuses harder X-rays above 10 keV and therefore can provide new insight into the workings of PWN G21.5-0.9. However, the resolution of NuSTAR X-ray observations is lower than that of Chandra and Hitomi, and therefore we investigate a method to sharpen NuSTAR Observatory images of PWN G21.5-0.9 through a process called deconvolution. We divide the NuSTAR images into three different energy stacks, with energy ranges of 3 - 10 keV, 10 - 30 keV, and 30 - 60 keV, in order to match past observations from Chandra, and investigate higher energy ranges. We deconvolute these images through the Richardson-Lucy deconvolution module and create energy-dependent brightness profiles in order to search for and analyze variations in the morphology of G21.5-0.9 as a function of energy. This project was supported in part by the NSF REU grant AST-1757321 and by the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.


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