Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We report on a Chandra observation of the Crab Nebula that gives the first clear view of the faint boundary of the Crab's X-ray-emitting pulsar wind nebula. There is structure in all directions. Fingers, loops, bays, and the south pulsar jet all indicate that either filamentary material or the magnetic field is controlling the relativistic electrons. In general, spectra soften as distance from the pulsar increases but do not change rapidly along linear features. This is particularly true for the pulsar jet. The termination of the jet is abrupt; the east side is close to an [O III] optical filament, which may be blocking propagation on this side. We argue that linear features have ordered magnetic fields and that the structure is determined by the synchrotron lifetime of particles diffusing perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field. We find no significant evidence for thermal X-rays inside the filamentary envelope.



Original Citation

F. D. Seward et al 2006 ApJ 652 1277