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Journal Article

Prospect of detecting X-ray haloes around middle-aged pulsars with eROSITA


Zhang,  Yi
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Li, B., Zhang, Y., Liu, T., Liu, R.-Y., & Wang, X.-Y. (2022). Prospect of detecting X-ray haloes around middle-aged pulsars with eROSITA. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 513(2), 2884-2892. doi:10.1093/mnras/stac711.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-4E26-4
The detection of extended TeV γ-ray emission (dubbed ‘TeV haloes’) around Geminga and Monogem pulsars by High Altitude Water Cherenkov collaboration implies that the halo-like morphologies around middle-aged pulsars may be common. The γ-ray emission above 10 TeV is thought to arise from inverse Compton scattering of relativistic electrons/positrons in the pulsar haloes off cosmic microwave background photons. In the meanwhile, these electrons and positrons can produce X-ray synchrotron emission in the interstellar magnetic field, resulting in a diffuse emission in the X-ray band (namely X-ray haloes). Here, we study the prospect of detecting X-ray haloes with extended Roentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array (eROSITA) from 10 middle-aged pulsars with characteristic age τc larger than tens of thousands of years in the Australia Telescope National Facility pulsar catalogue. Assuming a benchmark value (i.e. B = 3 μG) for the magnetic field, most of the X-ray haloes are found to be bright enough to be detected by eROSITA in the energy range of 0.5–2 keV with a 20 ks targeted survey. Among these pulsar haloes, four are detectable in the ongoing 4-yr eROSITA all-sky survey. Thanks to the large grasp in the soft X-ray band, eROSITA is expected to be able to measure the surface brightness profiles of the X-ray haloes from sub-pc up to tens of pc scales, which can be used to constrain the magnetic field and the diffusion coefficient in the pulsar haloes.