Plerions represent ideal laboratories for the search for neutron stars, the study of their relativistic winds, and their interaction with their surrounding supernova ejecta and/or the interstellar medium. As well, they are widely believed to represent efficient engines for particle acceleration up to the knee of the cosmic ray spectrum (at about 1015 eV). Multi-wavelength observations from the radio to the highest TeV energies, combined with modelling, have opened a new window to study these objects, and particularly shed light on their intrinsic properties, diversity, and evolution. High-resolution X-ray observations are further revealing the structure and sites for shock acceleration. The missing shells in the majority of these objects remain puzzling, and the presence of plerions around highly magnetized neutron stars is still questionable. I review the current status and statistics of observations of plerionic supernova remnants (SNRs), highlighting combined radio and X-ray observations of a growing class of atypical, non Crab-like, plerionic SNRs in our Galaxy. I will also briefly describe the latest developments to our high-energy SNRs catalogue recently released to the community, and finally highlight the key questions to be addressed in this field with future high-energy missions, including Astro-H in the very near future.
High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy: 5th International Meeting on High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy
- Pub Date:
- December 2012
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- AIP Conference Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy, Heidelberg, July 9-13 (2012). Eds: F. Aharonian, W. Hofmann, F. Rieger. Solicited review, 8 pages, 4 colour figures. The figures resolution has been reduced for astro-ph. Original article can be found at: http://www.physics.umanitoba.ca/~samar/arxiv/safiharb-plerions-gamma2012.pdf