A possible optical counterpart to the old nearby pulsar J0108-1431

R. P. Mignani, G. Pavlov, O. Kargaltsev

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19 Scopus citations


Context. The multi-wavelength study of old (> 100 Myr) radio pulsars holds the key to understanding the long-term evolution of neutron stars, including the advanced stages of neutron star cooling and the evolution of the magnetosphere. Optical/UV observations are particularly useful for such studies because they allow one to explore both thermal and non-thermal emission processes. In particular, studying the optical/UV emission constrains the temperature of the bulk of the neutron star surface, too cold to be measured in X-ray observations.Aims. Aim of this work is to identify the optical counterpart of the very old (166 Myr) radio pulsar J0108-1431.Methods. We have re-analyzed our original Very Large Telescope (VLT) observations, where a very faint object was tentatively detected close to the radio position, near the edge of a field galaxy.Results. We found that the backward extrapolation of the PSR J0108-1431 proper motion recently measured by Chandra fits the position of this object. Based on that, we propose it as a viable candidate for the optical counterpart to PSR J0108-1431. The object fluxes (; ; ) are consistent with a thermal spectrum with a brightness temperature of K (for km at a distance of 130 pc), emitted from the bulk of the neutron star surface.Conclusions. New optical observations are required to confirm the optical identification of PSR J0108-1431 and measure its spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1030
Number of pages4
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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