Spatial identification of the overionized plasma in W49B

Fabio Reale, Marco Miceli, Ballet, Bocchino, Decourchelle, Fabio Reale, Miceli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Context. Recent Suzaku X-ray observations of the ejecta-dominated supernova remnant W49B have shown that there is a clear indication in the global spectrum for overionized plasma, whose physical origin is still under debate.Aims: In order to ascertain the physical origin of this rapidly cooling plasma, we focus on its spatial localization within the X-ray emitting ejecta.Methods: We confirm a saw-edged excess (interpreted as a strong radiative recombination continuum) in the global spectrum above 8 keV, which emerges above the ionization-equilibrium model. We produce a hardness-ratio map to determine where the plasma is overionized and perform a spectral analysis of the regions with and without strong overionization.Results: We find that the overionized plasma is localized in the center of the remnant and in its western jet, while it is not detected in the bright eastern jet, where the expansion of the ejecta is hampered by their interaction with a dense interstellar cloud.Conclusions: The location of overionized plasma suggests that the inner ejecta are rapidly cooling by expansion, unlike the outer ejecta, for which expansion is hampered by interstellar clouds seen in H2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L2-L5
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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