Learning about the magnetar Swift J1834.9-0846 from its wind nebula

Jonathan Granot, Ramandeep Gill, George Younes, Josef Gelfand, Alice Harding, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Matthew G. Baring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first wind nebula around a magnetar was recently discovered in X-rays around Swift J1834.9-0846. We study this magnetar's global energetics and the properties of its particle wind or outflows. At a distance of ~4 kpc, Swift J1834.9-0846 is located at the centre of the supernova remnant (SNR) W41 whose radius is ~19 pc, an order of magnitude larger than that of the X-ray nebula (~2 pc). The association with SNR W41 suggests a common age of ~5-100 kyr, while its spin-down age is 4.9 kyr. A small natal kick velocity may partly explain why a wind nebula was detected around this magnetar but not around other magnetars, most of which appear to have larger kick velocities and may have exited their birth SNR. We find that the GeV and TeV source detected by Fermi/Large Area Telescope (LAT) and High Energy Spectroscopic System (H.E.S.S.), respectively, of radius ~11 pc is most likely of hadronic origin. The dynamics and internal structure of the nebula are examined analytically to explain the nebula's current properties. Its size may naturally correspond to the diffusiondominated cooling length of the X-ray emitting e+e- pairs. This may also account for the spectral softening of the X-ray emission from the nebula's inner to outer parts. The analysis of the X-ray synchrotron nebula implies that (i) the nebular magnetic field is ≳11 μG (and likely ≲30 μG), and (ii) the nebula is not powered predominantly by the magnetar's quiescent spin-down-powered MHD wind, but by other outflows that contribute most of its energy. The latter are most likely associated with the magnetar's bursting activity, and possibly dominated by outflows associated with its past giant flares. The energy source for the required outflows cannot be the decay of the magnetar's dipole field alone, and is most likely the decay of its much stronger internal magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4895-4926
Number of pages32
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


  • Diffusion
  • Hydrodynamics
  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • Magnetic fields
  • Outflows
  • Stars: magnetars
  • Stars: winds


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning about the magnetar Swift J1834.9-0846 from its wind nebula'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this