The supernova remnant (SNR) N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud has been observed with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) on board the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The superb angular resolution of the Chandra/ACIS images resolves a point source, the likely X-ray counterpart of soft gamma-ray repeater SGR 0526-66, and the diffuse filaments and knots across the SNR. These filamentary features represent the blast wave sweeping through the ambient interstellar medium and nearby dense molecular clouds. We detect metal-rich ejecta beyond the main blast wave shock boundary in the southwest of the SNR, which appear to be explosion fragments, or "bullets," ejected from the progenitor star. The detection of strong H-like Si line emission in the eastern side of the SNR requires multiphase shocks in order to describe the observed X-ray spectrum, whereas such a multiphase plasma is not evident in the western side. This complex spectral structure of N49 suggests that the postshock regions toward the east of the SNR might have been reheated by the reverse shock off the dense molecular clouds while the blast wave shock front has decelerated as it propagates into the dense clouds. The X-ray spectrum of the detected pointlike source is continuum-dominated and can be described with a power law of Γ ∼ 3. This provides a confirmation that this pointlike X-ray source is the counterpart of SGR 0526-66 in the quiescent state.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science