Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1306.4186 (V. Heard et al.)

XMM-Newton observations of the Galactic Centre Region - II: The soft thermal emission    [PDF]

V. Heard, R. S. Warwick
We have extended our earlier study (Heard & Warwick 2013, Paper I) of the X-ray emission emanating from the central 100 pc x 100 pc region of our Galaxy to an investigation of several features prominent in the soft X-ray (2-4.5 keV) band. We focus on three specific structures: a putative bipolar outflow from the vicinity of Sgr A*; a high surface brightness region located roughly 12 arcmin to the north-east of Sgr A*; and a lower surface-brightness extended loop feature seen to the south of Sgr A*. We show that all three structures are thermal in nature and have similar temperatures (kT ~ 1 keV). The inferred X-ray luminosities lie in the range (2 - 10) x 10^34 erg s^-1. In the case of the bipolar feature we suggest that the hot plasma is produced by the shock-heating of the winds from massive stars within the Central Cluster, possibly collimated by the Circumnuclear Disc. Alternatively the outflow may be driven by outbursts on Sgr A*, which follow tidal disruption events occurring at a rate of roughly 1 every 4000 yr. The north-east enhancement is centred on a candidate PWN which has a relatively hard non-thermal X-ray spectrum. We suggest that the coincident soft-thermal emission traces the core of a new thermal-composite supernova remnant, designated as SNR G0.13-0.12. There is no clear evidence for an associated radio shell but such a feature may be masked by the bright emission of the nearby Radio Arc and other filamentary structures. SNR G0.13-0.12 is very likely interacting with the nearby molecular cloud, G0.11-0.11, and linked to the Fermi source, 2FGL J1746.4-2851c. Finally we explore a previous suggestion that the elliptically-shaped X-ray loop to the south of Sgr A*, of maximum extent ~45 pc, represents the shell of a superbubble located in the GC region. Although plausible, the interpretation of this feature in terms a coherent physical structure awaits confirmation.
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