X-Ray Spectroscopy of the Highly Magnetized Pulsar PSR J1846-0258, Its Wind Nebula, and Hosting Supernova Remnant Kes 75

E. V. Gotthelf, S. Safi-Harb, S. M. Straal, J. D. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present broadband X-ray spectroscopy of the energetic components that make up the supernova remnant (SNR) Kesteven 75 using concurrent 2017 August 17-20 XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observations, during which the pulsar PSR J1846-0258 is found to be in the quiescent state. The young remnant hosts a bright pulsar wind nebula powered by the highly energetic (˙ E = 8.1 × 1036 erg s-1) isolated, rotation-powered pulsar, with a spin-down age of only . Its inferred magnetic field (B s = 4.9 × 1013 G) is the largest known for these objects, and is likely responsible for intervals of flare and burst activity, suggesting a transition between/to a magnetar state. The pulsed emission from PSR J1846-0258 is well-characterized in the 2-50 keV range by a power-law model with photon index ΓPSR = 1.24 ± 0.09 and a 2-10 keV unabsorbed flux of (2.3 ± 0.4) × 10-12 erg s-1 cm-2. We find no evidence for an additional non-thermal component above 10 keV in the current state, as would be typical for a magnetar. Compared to the Chandra pulsar spectrum, the intrinsic pulsed fraction is 71 ± 16% in 2-10 keV band. A power-law spectrum for the pulsar wind nebulae (PWN) yields ΓPWN = 2.03 ± 0.02 in the 1-55 keV band, with no evidence of curvature in this range, and a 2-10 keV unabsorbed flux (2.13 ± 0.02) × 10-11 erg s-1 cm-2. The NuSTAR data reveal evidence for a hard X-ray component dominating the SNR spectrum above 10 keV that we attribute to a dust-scattered PWN component. We model the dynamical and radiative evolution of the Kes 75 system to estimate the birth properties of the neutron star, the energetics of its progenitor, and properties of the PWN. This suggests that the progenitor of Kes 75 was originally in a binary system which transferred most of its mass to a companion before exploding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number212
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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