The Crab pulsar and its nebula are among the most studied astrophysical systems, and constitute one of the most promising environments where high energy processes and particle acceleration can be investigated. They are the only objects for which previous X-ray polarisation has been reported. We present here the first Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) observation of the Crab pulsar and nebula. The total pulsar pulsed emission in the [2-8] keV energy range is unpolarised. Significant polarisation up to 15% is detected only in the core of the main peak. The nebula has a total space integrated polarised degree of 20% and polarisation angle of 145deg. The polarised maps show a large variation in the local polarisation, and regions with polarised degree up to 45-50%. The polarisation pattern suggests a predominantly toroidal magnetic field.
- Pub Date:
- July 2022
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- 29 pages, 7 figures, submitted to nature Astronomy - Includes Supplementary material