Optical studies of millisecond pulsar companions

S. C. Lundgren, J. M. Cordes, R. S. Foster, Alexander Wolszczan, F. Camilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In observations of four binary millisecond pulsars with the Palomar 200 inch (5.1 m) telescope, we have detected white dwarf companions to PSR J1640+2224 and PSR J2145-0750 and placed upper limits of mr = 24 and mr = 25 on companions to PSR J0751 + 1807 and PSR J2229+2643. The temperature inferred for the companion to PSR J1640+2224 is T = 3700 ± 300 K. The luminosity inferred for a star at a distance of 1.2 kpc is consistent with that expected from a (2 ± 1) × 109 yr old helium white dwarf. For PSR J2145-0750, the measured colors are inconsistent, possibly due to a combination of emission lines in the spectrum and systematic effects introduced when subtracting a nearby star. The companion temperature derived lies in the range 4300-6800 K. For a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, the corresponding cooling age is 2-6 × 109 yr. The cooling ages of both systems with detected white dwarf companions are significantly less than the upper limits from the pulsar spin-down ages. For both pulsars, the inferred accretion rate for mass transfer during Roche lobe overflow is 2 orders of magnitude below Eddington accretion rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume458
Issue number1 PART II
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Fingerprint

pulsars
accretion
cooling
stars
lobes
helium
mass transfer
temperature
luminosity
telescopes
color
oxygen
carbon
rate
effect

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Lundgren, S. C., Cordes, J. M., Foster, R. S., Wolszczan, A., & Camilo, F. (1996). Optical studies of millisecond pulsar companions. Astrophysical Journal, 458(1 PART II).
Lundgren, S. C. ; Cordes, J. M. ; Foster, R. S. ; Wolszczan, Alexander ; Camilo, F. / Optical studies of millisecond pulsar companions. In: Astrophysical Journal. 1996 ; Vol. 458, No. 1 PART II.
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Lundgren, SC, Cordes, JM, Foster, RS, Wolszczan, A & Camilo, F 1996, 'Optical studies of millisecond pulsar companions', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 458, no. 1 PART II.

Optical studies of millisecond pulsar companions. / Lundgren, S. C.; Cordes, J. M.; Foster, R. S.; Wolszczan, Alexander; Camilo, F.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 458, No. 1 PART II, 01.01.1996.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Lundgren SC, Cordes JM, Foster RS, Wolszczan A, Camilo F. Optical studies of millisecond pulsar companions. Astrophysical Journal. 1996 Jan 1;458(1 PART II).