Journal Article

Optical observations of PSR J0205+6449

A. Shearer and V. V. Neustroev

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 1, pages 235-238
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Optical observations of PSR J0205+6449

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PSR J0205+6449 is an X-ray and radio pulsar in supernova (SN) remnant 3C 58. We report on observations of the central region of 3C 58 using the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma, with the intention of identifying the optical counterpart of PSR J0205+6449 and characterizing its pulsar wind nebula (PWN). Around the pulsar position, we identified extended emission with a magnitude of B= 23.97 ± 0.10 mag, V= 22.95 ± 0.05 mag and R= 22.15 ± 0.03 mag consistent with a PWN. From the R-band image, we identified three knots with mR= 24.08 ± 0.07 mag (o1), 24.15 ± 0.07 mag (o2) and 24.24 ± 0.08 mag (o3). We confirm the presence of an optical PWN around PSR J0205+6449 and give an upper limit of mR≈ 24 for the optical magnitude of the pulsar. Furthermore, we make the tentative suggestion that our object o1, with an mR≈ 24.08, is the optical counterpart. If confirmed, the pulsar would have an LR/LX≈ 0.004 and an optical efficiency of about five per cent of the Crab pulsar. Such a low efficiency is more consistent with the characteristic age of the pulsar rather than that of SN 1181.

Keywords: pulsars: individual: PSR J0205+6449

Journal Article.  2154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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