Diffuse x-ray emission from the quiescent superbubble M17, the omega nebula

Bryan C. Dunne, You Hua Chu, C. H. Rosie Chen, Justin D. Lowry, Leisa Townsley, Robert A. Gruendl, Martín A. Guerrero, Margarita Rosado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The emission nebula M17 contains a young ∼1 Myr old open cluster; the winds from the OB stars of this cluster have blown a superbubble around the cluster. ROSAT observations of M17 detected diffuse X-ray emission peaking at the cluster and filling the superbubble interior. The young age of the cluster suggests that no supernovae have yet occurred in M17; therefore, it provides a rare opportunity to study hot gas energized solely by shocked stellar winds in a quiescent superbubble. We have analyzed the diffuse X-ray emission from M17 and compared the observed X-ray luminosity of ∼2.5 × 1033 ergs s-1 and the hot gas temperature of ∼8.5 × 10 6 K and mass of ∼1 M⊙ to model predictions. We find that bubble models with heat conduction overpredict the X-ray luminosity by 2 orders of magnitude; the strong magnetic fields in M17, as measured from H I Zeeman observations, have most likely inhibited heat conduction and associated mass evaporation. Bubble models without heat conduction can explain the X-ray properties of M17, but only if cold nebular gas can be dynamically mixed into the hot bubble interior and the stellar winds are clumpy with mass-loss rates reduced by a factor of ≥3. Future models of the M17 superbubble must take into account the large-scale density gradient, small-scale dumpiness, and strong magnetic field in the ambient interstellar medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume590
Issue number1 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2003

Fingerprint

nebulae
conductive heat transfer
bubble
bubbles
stellar winds
high temperature gases
x rays
luminosity
gas
magnetic field
cold gas
open clusters
gas temperature
magnetic fields
erg
supernovae
evaporation
stars
gradients
prediction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Dunne, B. C., Chu, Y. H., Rosie Chen, C. H., Lowry, J. D., Townsley, L., Gruendl, R. A., ... Rosado, M. (2003). Diffuse x-ray emission from the quiescent superbubble M17, the omega nebula. Astrophysical Journal, 590(1 I), 306-313. https://doi.org/10.1086/375010
Dunne, Bryan C. ; Chu, You Hua ; Rosie Chen, C. H. ; Lowry, Justin D. ; Townsley, Leisa ; Gruendl, Robert A. ; Guerrero, Martín A. ; Rosado, Margarita. / Diffuse x-ray emission from the quiescent superbubble M17, the omega nebula. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2003 ; Vol. 590, No. 1 I. pp. 306-313.
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Dunne, BC, Chu, YH, Rosie Chen, CH, Lowry, JD, Townsley, L, Gruendl, RA, Guerrero, MA & Rosado, M 2003, 'Diffuse x-ray emission from the quiescent superbubble M17, the omega nebula', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 590, no. 1 I, pp. 306-313. https://doi.org/10.1086/375010

Diffuse x-ray emission from the quiescent superbubble M17, the omega nebula. / Dunne, Bryan C.; Chu, You Hua; Rosie Chen, C. H.; Lowry, Justin D.; Townsley, Leisa; Gruendl, Robert A.; Guerrero, Martín A.; Rosado, Margarita.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 590, No. 1 I, 10.06.2003, p. 306-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Chu, You Hua

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N2 - The emission nebula M17 contains a young ∼1 Myr old open cluster; the winds from the OB stars of this cluster have blown a superbubble around the cluster. ROSAT observations of M17 detected diffuse X-ray emission peaking at the cluster and filling the superbubble interior. The young age of the cluster suggests that no supernovae have yet occurred in M17; therefore, it provides a rare opportunity to study hot gas energized solely by shocked stellar winds in a quiescent superbubble. We have analyzed the diffuse X-ray emission from M17 and compared the observed X-ray luminosity of ∼2.5 × 1033 ergs s-1 and the hot gas temperature of ∼8.5 × 10 6 K and mass of ∼1 M⊙ to model predictions. We find that bubble models with heat conduction overpredict the X-ray luminosity by 2 orders of magnitude; the strong magnetic fields in M17, as measured from H I Zeeman observations, have most likely inhibited heat conduction and associated mass evaporation. Bubble models without heat conduction can explain the X-ray properties of M17, but only if cold nebular gas can be dynamically mixed into the hot bubble interior and the stellar winds are clumpy with mass-loss rates reduced by a factor of ≥3. Future models of the M17 superbubble must take into account the large-scale density gradient, small-scale dumpiness, and strong magnetic field in the ambient interstellar medium.

AB - The emission nebula M17 contains a young ∼1 Myr old open cluster; the winds from the OB stars of this cluster have blown a superbubble around the cluster. ROSAT observations of M17 detected diffuse X-ray emission peaking at the cluster and filling the superbubble interior. The young age of the cluster suggests that no supernovae have yet occurred in M17; therefore, it provides a rare opportunity to study hot gas energized solely by shocked stellar winds in a quiescent superbubble. We have analyzed the diffuse X-ray emission from M17 and compared the observed X-ray luminosity of ∼2.5 × 1033 ergs s-1 and the hot gas temperature of ∼8.5 × 10 6 K and mass of ∼1 M⊙ to model predictions. We find that bubble models with heat conduction overpredict the X-ray luminosity by 2 orders of magnitude; the strong magnetic fields in M17, as measured from H I Zeeman observations, have most likely inhibited heat conduction and associated mass evaporation. Bubble models without heat conduction can explain the X-ray properties of M17, but only if cold nebular gas can be dynamically mixed into the hot bubble interior and the stellar winds are clumpy with mass-loss rates reduced by a factor of ≥3. Future models of the M17 superbubble must take into account the large-scale density gradient, small-scale dumpiness, and strong magnetic field in the ambient interstellar medium.

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Dunne BC, Chu YH, Rosie Chen CH, Lowry JD, Townsley L, Gruendl RA et al. Diffuse x-ray emission from the quiescent superbubble M17, the omega nebula. Astrophysical Journal. 2003 Jun 10;590(1 I):306-313. https://doi.org/10.1086/375010