Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A proper motion for the pulsar wind nebula G359.23-0.82, the "mouse," associated with the energetic radio pulsar J1747-2958

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Hales



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Institute of Physics Publishing, 2009.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The "Mouse" (PWN G359.23-0.82) is a spectacular bow shock pulsar wind nebula, powered by the radio pulsar J1747-2958. The pulsar and its nebula are presumed to have a high space velocity, but their proper motions have not been directly measured. Here we present 8.5 GHz interferometric observations of the Mouse nebula with the Very Large Array, spanning a time baseline of 12 years. We measure eastward proper motion for PWN G359.23-0.82 (and hence indirectly for PSR J1747-2958) of 12.9 ± 1.8 mas yr-1, which at an assumed distance of 5 kpc corresponds to a transverse space velocity of 306 ± 43 km s-1. Considering pressure balance at the apex of the bow shock, we calculate an in situ hydrogen number density of approximately 1.0+0.4 -0.2cm-3 for the interstellar medium through which the system is traveling. A lower age limit for PSR J1747-2958 of 163+28 -20 kyr is calculated by considering its potential birth site. The large discrepancy with the pulsar's spin-down age of 25 kyr is possibly explained by surface dipole magnetic field growth on a timescale ≈ 15 kyr, suggesting possible future evolution of PSR J1747-2958 to a different class of neutron star. We also argue that the adjacent supernova remnant G359.1-0.5 is not physically associated with the Mouse system but is rather an unrelated object along the line of sight. © 2009. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hales CA, Gaensler BM, Chatterjee S, Van Der Swaluw E, Camilo F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Astrophysical Journal

Year: 2009

Volume: 706

Issue: 2

Pages: 1316-1322

Print publication date: 11/11/2009

Date deposited: 30/06/2017

ISSN (print): 0004-637X

ISSN (electronic): 1538-4357

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/706/2/1316


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Find at Newcastle University icon    Link to this publication