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The Crab Pulsar in the Infrared and its Environment
2002 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this thesis the infrared spectrum of the Crab pulsar is determined. The Crab pulsar lies in the centre of a supernova remnant, the Crab nebula, in the constellation of Taurus, and it is located about 6,300 light-years from the Earth. The knowledge of how pulsars work is important for the understanding of the emission mechanism in pulsars. In order to obtain suitable images from the original telescope data, data reductions were made with the astronomy software tools Eclipse and IRAF. In this thesis, introductory steps for the data reduction process are described. Our observations were made with the infrared instrument ISAAC on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) on October 2000 in the three infrared filters Js, H and Ks. The VLT is one of the main projects of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). From the final reduced images, the magnitude of the Crab pulsar in the three infrared filters was determined. This was made by fitting a point- spread function (PSF) of the flux of the pulsar. The PSF was then subtracted in order to obtain the magnitude of the pulsar. The fitting and the subtraction of the PSF reveals a knot sitting close to the pulsar. This is interpreted to be a shock in the pulsar polar wind. Also, the magnitude of the knot was determined. This was made with aperture photometry. Optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the VLT were also studied in order to extend the wavelength region, and derive the spectral characteristics of the inner components of the active Crab nebula. The infrared data from ISAAC have good resolution, and the wisps and the knot close to the pulsar are studied in detail. Together with UV-optical data, our new results revises the observational basis for the pulsar emission mechanism and a new look of the pulsar emission models has been added. It is also shown that the structure of the knot is quasi-stationary and that the emission of the knot has a red spectrum.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Crab Pulsar, ESO, infrared, data reduction, Very Large, Telescope, VLT, pulsars, photometry, astronomy
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-53188ISRN: LTU-EX--02/236--SELocal ID: a3c8771a-9a79-4a10-8ac7-0f4ac46f74daOAI: diva2:1026562
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Engineering Physics, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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