Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

A study of Pulsar Wind Nebulae and non-thermal filaments with the NuSTAR observatory

Nynka, Melania Christina

NuSTAR, the first high-energy focusing X-ray telescope, has provided an unprecedented view of the universe above 10 keV. I first briefly describe the fabrication and calibration campaign of the NuSTAR optics at Columbia University. I then present two main areas of research with NuSTAR: the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) G21.5-0.9, and the investigation of several filamentary structures within 0.5 deg. of the Galactic Center.
G21.5-0.9 is a well-studied PWN, and was observed by NuSTAR with ∼ 280 ks in the first months of its mission. I used both spectral and spatial image analysis of the emission to probe the validity of various magnetohydrodynamic models. Image deconvolution reveals the existence of non-thermal emission up to 20 keV, likely the supernova shell.
Next I discuss three non-thermal filaments found near the Galactic Center. The Cannonball is a known high-velocity neutron star escaping the radio shell of Sgr A East with an extended radio and soft X-ray tail. NuSTAR extended its non-thermal spectrum to 30 keV and measured a magnetic field of ∼ 313−550μG. I analyze filament G359.97-0.038 by incorporating broad-band morphological and spectral data from radio (5.5 and 8.3 GHz) and X-ray data with NuSTAR data. I conclude that it is not a PWN but more likely the result of an interaction between the Sgr A East remnant and the nearby molecular cloud. Lastly I observe the filament G0.13-0.11, likely a PWN elongated by the ram pressure from the nearby Radio Arc.


  • thumnail for Nynka_columbia_0054D_12451.pdf Nynka_columbia_0054D_12451.pdf binary/octet-stream 6.21 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Hailey, Charles J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 6, 2015
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.