Journal Article

The optical light curve of the Large Magellanic Cloud pulsar B0540−69 in 2009

S. Gradari, M. Barbieri, C. Barbieri, G. Naletto, E. Verroi, T. Occhipinti, P. Zoccarato, C. Germanà, L. Zampieri and A. Possenti

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 4, pages 2689-2694
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18103.x
The optical light curve of the Large Magellanic Cloud pulsar B0540−69 in 2009

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This paper reports a detailed analysis of the optical light curve of PSR B0540−69, the second brightest pulsar in the visible band, obtained in 2009 (January 18 and 20, and December 14, 15, 16 and 18) with the very high speed photon-counting photometer Iqueye mounted at the ESO 3.6-m New Technology Telescope in La Silla (Chile). The optical light curve derived by Iqueye shows a double structure in the main peak, with a rising edge steeper than the trailing edge. The double peak can be fitted by two Gaussians with the same height and full width at half-maximum of 13.3 and 15.5 ms, respectively. Our new values of spin frequencies allow us to extend by 3.5 yr the time interval over which a reliable estimate of frequency first and second derivatives can be performed. A discussion of implications for the braking index and age of the pulsar is presented. A value of n= 2.087 ± 0.007 for the overall braking index from 1987 to 2009 is derived. The braking index corrected age is confirmed at around 1700 yr.

Keywords: instrumentation: photometers; techniques: photometric; pulsars: general; pulsars: individual: PSR B0540−69

Journal Article.  4176 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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