Probing the Innermost Ejecta Layers in Supernova Remnant Kes 75: Implications for the Supernova Progenitor

Tea Temim, Patrick Slane, Tuguldur Sukhbold, Bon Chul Koo, John C. Raymond, Joseph D. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Supernova remnants (SNRs) that contain pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) are characterized by distinct evolutionary stages. In very young systems, the PWN drives a shock into the innermost supernova (SN) material, giving rise to low-excitation lines and an infrared (IR) continuum from heated dust grains. These observational signatures make it possible to cleanly measure the properties of the deepest SN ejecta layers that can, in turn, provide constraints on the SN progenitor. We present Herschel Space Observatory far-IR observations of the PWN in the Galactic SNR Kes 75, containing the youngest known pulsar that exhibited magnetar-like activity. We detect highly broadened oxygen and carbon line emission that arises from the SN ejecta encountered by the PWN. We also detect a small amount (a few times 10-3 M o) of shock-heated dust that spatially coincides with the ejecta material and was likely formed in the SN explosion. We use hydrodynamical models to simulate the evolution of Kes 75 and find that the PWN has so far swept up 0.05-0.1 M o of SN ejecta. Using explosion and nucleosynthesis models for different progenitor masses in combinations with shock models, we compare the predicted far-IR emission with the observed line intensities and find that lower-mass and explosion energy SN progenitors with mildly mixed ejecta profiles and comparable abundance fractions of carbon and oxygen are favored over higher-mass ones. We conclude that Kes 75 likely resulted from an 8 to 12 M o progenitor, providing further evidence that lower-energy explosions of such progenitors can give rise to magnetars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL19
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: individual objects (Kes 75, SNR G29.7-0.3)
  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • pulsars: individual (PSR J1846-0258)
  • stars: magnetars
  • supernovae: general


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