Context: The density of the ambient medium where the supernova remnant evolves is a relevant parameter for its hydrodynamical evolution, for the mechanism of particle acceleration, and for the emission at TeV energies.
Aims: Using XMM-Newton X-ray observations, we present a study of the ambient medium density of the historical supernova remnant SN 1006.
Methods: We modelled the post-shock thermal emission to constrain the ambient medium density. Our study is focused on the North-West and the South-East rims of the remnant, where the thermal emission dominates. We used a plane-parallel shock plasma model plus another component for the ejecta that are not negligible in the regions of our study. The importance of the synchrotron component is also studied. In order to improve statistics, we combined several observations of the remnant.
Results: The density found in the South-East rim is low, roughly 0.05 cm-3, and seems to be representative of the rest of the remnant. However, in the North-West rim (close to the bright optical filament), the density is significantly higher (about 0.15-0.25 cm-3). This confirms a picture of SN 1006 evolving in a tenuous ambient medium, except in the North-West where the remnant has recently encountered a denser region.
Conclusions: A density this low is compatible with the non-detection of the remnant by the HESS gamma-ray observatory. The lower density in the South-East implies a higher shock speed of 4900 km s-1, higher than that of 2890 km s-1 measured in the North-West. This new estimate of the velocity could increase the maximum energy that accelerated particles can reach to energies of about 1 PeV.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- ISM: supernova remnants;
- supernovae: individual: SN 1006;
- acceleration of particles;
- radiation mechanisms: thermal;
- 8 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in A&