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Polarized Palmistry of the Cosmic Hand

Presentation #201.03 in the session Recent Advances in Pulsar Wind Nebulae.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Polarized Palmistry of the Cosmic Hand

We present new IXPE X-ray measurements mapping magnetic field line structures of the pulsar wind nebula MSH 15-5(2), the ‘Cosmic Hand’. These structures can be compared with those seen in radio polarization — it is clear that in many cases the X-ray and radio-emitting populations sample different parts of the PWN. Globally, the Hand shares the torus/jet morphology seen in other young PWNe, but there are large scale complications arising from its interaction with the host SNR G320.3-0.1.1 Polarization indicates toroidal magnetic fields in an arc north of the pulsar, but the fields in the X-ray jet and the the narrow fingers of the hand are more complex. Hard X-ray and TeV maps give additional clues to the synchrotron burn-off of the electron population. Tracing the magnetic field lines of the ‘Hand’ give us some of our best constraints on PWN structure and evolution.

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