Infrared and x-ray spectroscopy of the Kes 75 supernova remnant shell: Characterizing the dust and gas properties

Tea Temim, Patrick Slane, Richard G. Arendt, Eli Dwek

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We present deep Chandra observations and Spitzer Space Telescope infrared (IR) spectroscopy of the shell in the composite supernova remnant (SNR) Kes 75 (G29.7-0.3). The remnant is composed of a central pulsar wind nebula and a bright partial shell in the south that is visible at radio, IR, and X-ray wavelengths. The X-ray emission can be modeled by either a single thermal component with a temperature of ∼1.5keV, or with two thermal components with temperatures of 1.5 and 0.2keV. Previous studies suggest that the hot component may originate from reverse-shocked supernova (SN) ejecta. However, our new analysis shows no definitive evidence for enhanced abundances of Si, S, Ar, Mg, and Fe, as expected from SN ejecta, or for the IR spectral signatures characteristic of confirmed SN condensed dust, thus favoring a circumstellar or interstellar origin for the X-ray and IR emission. The X-ray and IR emission in the shell are spatially correlated, suggesting that the dust particles are collisionally heated by the X-ray emitting gas. The IR spectrum of the shell is dominated by continuum emission from dust with little, or no line emission. Modeling the IR spectrum shows that the dust is heated to a temperature of ∼140 K by a relatively dense, hot plasma that also gives rise to the hot X-ray emission component. The density inferred from the IR emission is significantly higher than the density inferred from the X-ray models, suggesting a low filling factor for this X-ray emitting gas. The total mass of the warm dust component is at least 1.3 × 10-2 M, assuming no significant dust destruction has occurred in the shell. The IR data also reveal the presence of an additional plasma component with a cooler temperature, consistent with the 0.2keV gas component. Our IR analysis therefore provides an independent verification of the cooler component of the X-ray emission. The complementary analyses of the X-ray and IR emission provide quantitative estimates of density and filling factors of the clumpy medium swept up by the SNR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • dust, extinction
  • infrared: ISM
  • ISM: individual objects (SNR G29.7-0.3)
  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • pulsars: individual (PSR J1846-0258)
  • X-rays: ISM


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