Journal Article

Identifying birth places of young isolated neutron stars

N. Tetzlaff, R. Neuhäuser, M. M. Hohle and G. Maciejewski

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 4, pages 2369-2387
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Identifying birth places of young isolated neutron stars

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Young isolated radio-quiet neutron stars are still hot enough to be detectable at X-ray and optical wavelengths due to their thermal emission and can hence probe cooling curves. An identification of their birth sites can constrain their age.

For that reason, we try to identify the parent associations for four of the so-called Magnificent Seven neutron stars for which proper motion and distance estimates are available. We are tracing back in time each neutron star and possible birth association centre to find close encounters. The associated time of the encounter expresses the kinematic age of the neutron star which can be compared to its characteristic spin-down age. Owing to observational uncertainties in the input data, we use Monte Carlo simulations and evaluate the outcome of our calculations statistically.

RX J1856.5−3754 most probably originated from the Upper Scorpius association about 0.3 Myr ago. RX J0720.4−3125 was either born in the young local association TW Hydrae about 0.4 Myr ago or in Trumpler 10 0.5 Myr in the past. Also RX J1605.3 + 3249 and RBS 1223 seem to come from a nearby young association such as the Scorpius-Centraurus complex or the extended Corona-Australis association. For RBS 1223 also a birth in Scutum OB2 is possible.

We also give constraints on the observables as well as on the radial velocity of the neutron star. Given the birth association, its age and the flight time of the neutron star, we estimate the mass of the progenitor star.

Some of the potential supernovae were located very nearby (<100 pc) and thus should have contributed to the 10Be and 60Fe material found in the Earth's crust.

In addition, we reinvestigate the previously suggested neutron star/runaway pair PSR B1929+10/ζ Ophiuchi and conclude that it is very likely that both objects were ejected during the same supernova event.

Keywords: stars: kinematics; pulsars: individual: PSR B1929 + 10; pulsars: individual: RX J1856.5−3754; pulsars: individual: RX J0720.4−3125; pulsars: individual: RX J1605.3 + 3249; pulsars: individual: RBS 1223

Journal Article.  14178 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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