Search for the elusive optical counterpart of PSR J0537-6910 with the HST Advanced Camera for Surveys

R. P. Mignani, L. Pulone, G. Iannicola, G. G. Pavlov, L. Townsley, O. Y. Kargaltsev

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14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the results of deep, high-resolution, multi-band optical observations of the field of the young (∼5000 yr) 16 ms X-ray pulsar PSR J0537-6910 performed with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Although a few new potential counterparts have been detected within or close to the revised Chandra X-ray error circle (≃1") of the pulsar, only two of them (with magnitudes m 814W ≈ 23.9 and m814W ≈ 24.2) show indications of a peculiar spectrum which could be related to optical emission from the pulsar. This might be true also for a third, fainter, candidate detected only in one filter (with magnitude m814W ≈ 26.7). If either of the two brighter candidates is indeed the actual counterpart, the optical output of PSR J0537-6910 would make it similar to young Crab-like pulsars. If not, it would mean that PSR J0537-6910 is significantly underluminous with respect to all pulsars detected in the optical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume431
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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