Low-frequency radio absorption in Tycho's supernova remnant

Maria Arias, Jacco Vink, Ping Zhou, Francesco de Gasperin, Martin J. Hardcastle, Tim W. Shimwell

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Tycho's SNR is the remnant of the type Ia supernova explosion SN1572. In this work we present new low-frequency radio observations with the LOFAR Low-Band and High-Band Antennae, centred at 58 MHz and 143 MHz, and with an angular resolution of 41'' and 6'' respectively. We compare these maps to VLA maps at 327 MHz and 1420 MHz, and detect the effect of low-frequency absorption in some regions of the remnant due to the presence of free electrons along the line-of-sight. We investigate two origins for the low-frequency free-free absorption that we observe: external absorption from foreground, and internal absorption from Tycho's unshocked ejecta. The external absorption could be due to an ionised thin, diffuse cavity surrounding the SNR (although this cavity would need to be very thin to comply with the neutral fraction required to explain the remnant's optical lines), or it could be due to an over-ionised molecular shell in the vicinity of the remnant. We note that possible ionising sources are the X-ray emission from Tycho, its cosmic rays, or radiation from Tycho's progenitor. For the internal absorption, we are limited by our understanding of the spectral behaviour of the region at unabsorbed radio frequencies. However, the observations are suggestive of free-free absorption from unshocked ejecta inside Tycho's reverse shock.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019


  • astro-ph.HE


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