The well-known Crab Nebula is at the center of the SN1054 supernova remnant. It consists of a rotationally powered pulsar interacting with a surrounding nebula through a relativistic particle wind. The emissions originating from the pulsar and nebula have been considered to be essentially stable. Here, we report the detection of strong gamma-ray (100 mega-electron volts to 10 giga-electron volts) flares observed by the AGILE satellite in September 2010 and October 2007. In both cases, the total gamma-ray flux increased by a factor of three compared with the non-flaring flux. The flare luminosity and short time scale favor an origin near the pulsar, and we discuss Chandra Observatory x-ray and Hubble Space Telescope optical follow-up observations of the nebula. Our observations challenge standard models of nebular emission and require power-law acceleration by shock-driven plasma wave turbulence within an approximately 1-day time scale.

Discovery of Powerful Gamma-Ray Flares from the Crab Nebula

PREST, MICHELA;
2011-01-01

Abstract

The well-known Crab Nebula is at the center of the SN1054 supernova remnant. It consists of a rotationally powered pulsar interacting with a surrounding nebula through a relativistic particle wind. The emissions originating from the pulsar and nebula have been considered to be essentially stable. Here, we report the detection of strong gamma-ray (100 mega-electron volts to 10 giga-electron volts) flares observed by the AGILE satellite in September 2010 and October 2007. In both cases, the total gamma-ray flux increased by a factor of three compared with the non-flaring flux. The flare luminosity and short time scale favor an origin near the pulsar, and we discuss Chandra Observatory x-ray and Hubble Space Telescope optical follow-up observations of the nebula. Our observations challenge standard models of nebular emission and require power-law acceleration by shock-driven plasma wave turbulence within an approximately 1-day time scale.
2011
AGILE; Crab Nebula; pulsar; gamma-ray; flare
Tavani, M.; Bulgarelli, A.; Vittorini, V.; Pellizzoni, A.; Striani, E.; Caraveo, P.; Weisskopf, M. C.; Tennant, A.; Pucella, G.; Trois, A.; Costa, E.; Evangelista, Y.; Pittori, C.; Verrecchia, F.; Del Monte, E.; Campana, R.; Pilia, M.; De Luca, A.; Donnarumma, I.; Horns, D.; Ferrigno, C.; Heinke, C. O.; Trifoglio, M.; Gianotti, F.; Vercellone, S.; Argan, A.; Barbiellini, G.; Cattaneo, P. W.; Chen, A. W.; Contessi, T.; D'Ammando, F.; Deparis, G.; Di Cocco, G.; Di Persio, G.; Feroci, M.; Ferrari, A.; Galli, M.; Giuliani, A.; Giusti, M.; Labanti, C.; Lapshov, I.; Lazzarotto, F.; Lipari, P.; Longo, F.; Fuschino, F.; Marisaldi, M.; Mereghetti, S.; Morelli, E.; Moretti, E.; Morselli, A.; Pacciani, L.; Perotti, F.; Piano, G.; Picozza, P.; Prest, Michela; Rapisarda, M.; Rappoldi, A.; Rubini, A.; Sabatini, S.; Soffitta, P.; Vallazza, E.; Zambra, A.; Zanello, D.; Lucarelli, F.; Santolamazza, P.; Giommi, P.; Salotti, L.; Bignami, G. F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/1791046
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