[SN, SNR, and Isolated NS -- Oral ]
Chandra Observations of the Vela Pulsar Wind Nebula
George Pavlov, Pennsylvania State University
Oleg Kargaltsev (University of Florida)
The nearby Vela pulsar wind nebula (PWN) provides a unique
opportunity to study relativistic pulsar winds and their interaction
with the ambient medium. First Chandra observations of the Vela PWN in
2000-2002 have shown the puzzling crossbow morphology of the bright
inner PWN elements as well as the fainter bent outer jets and the
large-scale diffuse emission. The entire Vela PWN turned out to be
remarkably variable on a time scale of weeks, showing mildly relativistic
motions of its elements.We will present first results of eight 40 ks Chandra ACIS observations
of the Vela PWN in July-August 2009, taken with about one week intervals.
These observations will provide a sequence of images optimized for
studying the PWN variability. Very deep combined images will elucidate
the large-scale structure and the complicated topology of the PWN.
Spatially resolved spectroscopy will provide the spectra of the inner
PWN elements with an arcsecond resolution, and it will allow us to trace
the spectral evolution of the anisotropic outflows up to large distances
from the pulsar.