Journal Article

Near-infrared observations of rotating radio transients

N. Rea, G. Lo Curto, V. Testa, G. L. Israel, A. Possenti, M. McLaughlin, F. Camilo, B. M. Gaensler and M. Burgay

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 3, pages 1887-1894
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17032.x
Near-infrared observations of rotating radio transients

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We report on the first near-infrared observations obtained for rotating radio transients (RRATs). Using adaptive optics devices mounted on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), we observed two objects of this class: RRAT J1819−1458 and RRAT J1317−5759. These observations have been performed in 2006 and 2008, in the J, H and Ks bands. We found no candidate infrared counterpart to RRAT J1317−5759 down to a limiting magnitude of Ks∼ 21. On the other hand, we found a possible candidate counterpart for RRAT J1819−1458 having a magnitude of Ks= 20.96 ± 0.10. In particular, this is the only source within a 1σ error circle around the source's accurate X-ray position, although given the crowded field we cannot exclude that this is due to a chance coincidence. The infrared flux of the putative counterpart to the highly magnetic RRAT J1819−1458 is higher than expected from a normal radio pulsar, but consistent with that seen from magnetars. We also searched for the near-infrared counterpart to the X-ray diffuse emission recently discovered around RRAT J1819−1458, but we did not detect this component in the near-infrared band. We discuss the luminosity of the putative counterpart to RRAT J1819−1458 in comparison with the near-infrared emission of all isolated neutron stars detected to date in this band (five pulsars and seven magnetars).

Keywords: pulsars: general; pulsars: individual: RRAT J1819−1458; pulsars: individual: RRAT J1317−5759

Journal Article.  5037 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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