An Imaging and Spectral Study of Ten X-Ray Filaments around the Galactic Center


We report the detection of 10 new X-ray filaments using the data from the {\sl Chandra} X-ray satellite for the inner 6′6^{\prime} (∼15\sim 15 parsec) around the Galactic center (GC). All these X-ray filaments are characterized by non-thermal energy spectra, and most of them have point-like features at their heads that point inward. Fitted with the simple absorbed power-law model, the measured X-ray flux from an individual filament in the 2-10 keV band is ∼2.8×10−14\sim 2.8\times10^{-14} to 10−1310^{-13} ergs cm−2^{-2} s−1^{-1} and the absorption-corrected X-ray luminosity is ∼1032−1033\sim 10^{32}-10^{33} ergs s−1^{-1} at a presumed distance of 8 kpc to the GC. We speculate the origin(s) of these filaments by morphologies and by comparing their X-ray images with the corresponding radio and infrared images. On the basis of combined information available, we suspect that these X-ray filaments might be pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) associated with pulsars of age 103∼3×10510^3 \sim 3\times 10^5 yr. The fact that most of the filament tails point outward may further suggest a high velocity wind blowing away form the GC.Comment: 29 pages with 7 figures and 3 pages included. Accepted to Ap

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