Mar 07, 2013
Pat Slane, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
"Thermal X-ray Spectra of SNRs"
The fast shocks that characterize supernova remnants heat circumstellar and ejecta material to extremely high temperatures, resulting in significant X-ray emission. The X-ray spectrum from an SNR carries a wealth of information about the temperature and ionization state of the plasma, the density distribution of the postshock material, and the composition of the ejecta. This, in turn, places strong constraints on the properties of the progenitor star, the explosive nucleosynthesis that produced the remnant, the properties of the environment into which the SNR expands, and the effects of particle acceleration on its dynamical evolution. Here I present results from X-ray studies SNRs in various evolutionary states, and highlight key results inferred from the thermal emission.