The X-ray jet in the crab nebula: Radical implications for pulsar theory?

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Abstract

The recent Chandra image of the Crab nebula shows a striking, axisymmetric polar jet. It is shown that jets are formed in axisymmetric, magnetized pulsar winds and that the jet luminosity scales relative to the total as (γoσ where σeq is the ratio of Poynting flux to particle kinetic energy output at the equator at the base of the flow and γo is the initial Lorentz factor of the flow. The results are applied to the image of the Crab nebula, and the limit is set for the Crab pulsar of σeq ≤ 102. It is argued that conventional pulsar theory needs to be reexamined in light of these limits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-498
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume562
Issue number1 PART I
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001

Keywords

  • ISM: Jets and outflows
  • MHD
  • Outflows supernova remnants
  • Pulsars: General
  • Stars: Winds

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