RX J050736-6847.8: A large supernova remnant around an X-ray binary in the large magellanic cloud

You Hua Chu, Sungeun Kim, Sean D. Points, Robert Petre, Steven L. Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RX J050736-6847.8 in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an intriguing X-ray source consisting of a large ring (diameter ∼ 150 pc) of diffuse emission and a central compact source. It is projected in the vicinity of the superbubble N103 around the star cluster NGC 1850. RX J050736-6847.8's ring of diffuse X-ray emission, offset from the superbubble N103, is not bounded by any optical shell structure, while RX J050736-6847.8's central compact X-ray source is projected within the cluster HS122. We have analyzed archival ROSAT observations of RX J050736-6847.8 to determine the physical properties of its X-ray-emitting gas. The X-ray luminosity of the diffuse X-ray emission is 5-6 × 1035 ergs s-1 in the 0.1-2.4 keV band, within the range for supernova remnants (SNRs). Assuming a shell geometry with a fractional shell thickness (ΔR/R) of 0.05-0.2, we find the density of the hot gas to be 0.05-0.09 cm-3 and a hot gas mass of ∼820 M. The physical properties of this shell of hot gas are consistent with Sedov's solution for a ∼5 × 104 yr old SNR in a low-density (∼0.015 cm-3) medium formed by a supernova of an explosion energy of 3 × 1051 ergs. The density is so low that no detectable optical emission is expected. Therefore, we suggest that this ring of X-ray emission originates in a SNR, the largest known in the LMC. The large size, low density, and the regular X-ray morphology suggest that this SNR is located in the halo of the LMC ; the small absorption column density further suggests that this SNR is on the near side of the LMC halo. The central compact source of RX J050736-6847.8 is probably an X-ray binary in the cluster HS122. The relationship between the compact source and the diffuse ring is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2242-2247
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000


  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • Supernova remnants
  • X-rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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