NuSTAR Detection of a Hard X-ray Source in the Supernova Remnant – Molecular Cloud Interaction Site of IC 443

Kavli Affiliate: Dheeraj Pasham

| First 5 Authors: Shuo Zhang, Xiaping Tang, Xiao Zhang, Lei Sun, Eric V. Gotthelf

| Summary:

We report on a broadband study of a complex X-ray source (1SAX J0618.0+2227)
associated with the interaction site of the supernova remnant (SNR) IC 443 and
ambient molecular cloud (MC) using NuSTAR, XMM_Newton, and Chandra
observations. Its X-ray spectrum is composed of both thermal and non-thermal
components. The thermal component can be equally well represented by either a
thin plasma model with kT=0.19 keV or a blackbody model with kT=0.11 keV. The
non-thermal component can be fit with either a power-law with Gamma~1.7 or a
cutoff power-law with Gamma~1.5 and a cutoff energy at E_cut~18 keV. Using the
newly obtained NuSTAR dataset, we test three possible scenarios for isolated
X-ray sources in the SNR-MC interaction site: 1) pulsar wind nebula (PWN); 2)
SNR ejecta fragment; 3) shocked molecular clump. We conclude that this source
is most likely composed of a SNR ejecta (or a PWN) and surrounding shocked
molecular clumps. The nature of this hard X-ray source in the SNR-MC
interaction site of IC 443 may shed light on unidentified X-ray sources with
hard X-ray spectra in rich environments for star forming regions, such as the
Galactic center.

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