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The Flame-thrower Filament of the Celestial Guitar

Presentation #121.03 in the session PWN Special Session.

Published onJul 01, 2023
The Flame-thrower Filament of the Celestial Guitar

We have obtained new deep Hubble/ACS and CXO/ACIS images of the Guitar Nebula Hα shock and its associated X-ray filament. These allow new measurements of the bow shock standoff from the high velocity PSR B2224+65 and of the structure and spectrum of the mis-aligned X-ray filament. Comparing with three other HST/CXO epochs over the past 25 years, we can see the bow shock apex marching ahead, closely tracked by the sharp leading edge of the 2’-long X-ray filament, marking fresh injection of multi-TeV e+/e- onto external magnetic field lines. Equipartition measurements indicate a modest magnetic field for this structure and a synchrotron cooling age of ~1000 years. Thus the rapid re-arrangement on decade timescales of the filament brightness profile implicates particle advection and diffusion. We find evidence for injection of a flare of e+/e- some 35+ years ago, which has subsequently spread behind the filament’s leading edge; this filament flare may be associated with a pinch in the Guitar nebula’s bright Halpha head, indicating smaller standoff at this time.

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