Study of nonthermal emission from SNR RX J1713.7-3946 with Suzaku

Takaaki Tanaka*, Yasunobu Uchiyama, Felix A. Aharonian, Tadayuki Takahashi, A. Y.A. Bamba, Junko S. Hiraga, Jun Kataoka, Tetsuichi Kishishita, Motohide Kokubun, Koji Mori, Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Robert Petre, Hiroyasu Tajima, Shin Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


We present results obtained from a series of observations of the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946 by Suzaku. Hard X-rays have been detected up to ∼40 keV. The hard X-ray spectra are described by a power law with photon indices of ∼3.0, which is larger than those below 10 keV. The combination of the spatially integrated XIS and HXD spectra clearly reveals a spectral cutoff which is linked to the maximum energy of accelerated electrons. The broad-band coverage of Suzaku allows us to derive, for the first time, the energy spectrum of parent electrons in the cutoff region. The cutoff energy in the X-ray spectrum indicates that the electron acceleration in the remnant proceeds close to the Bohm diffusion limit. We discuss the implications of the spectral and morphological properties of the Suzaku data in the context of the origin of nonthermal emission. The Suzaku X-ray and H.E.S.S. gamma-ray data together hardly can be explained within a pure leptonic scenario. Moreover, the leptonic models require a weak magnetic field, which is inconsistent with the recently discovered X-ray filamentary structures and their short-term variability. The hadronic models with strong magnetic fields provide reasonable fits to the observed spectra, but require special arrangements of parameters to explain the lack of thermal X-ray emission. For morphology studies, we compare the X-ray and TeV gamma-ray surface brightness. We confirm the previously reported strong correlation between X-rays and TeV gamma rays. At the same time, the Suzaku data reveal a deviation from the general tendency, namely, the X-ray emission in the western rims appears brighter than expected from the average X-ray to gamma-ray ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-1004
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceleration of particles
  • ISM: individual (RX J1713.7-3946)
  • Supernova remnants
  • X-rays: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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