Submillimetre observations of RX J1856.5-3754

B. Posselt, K. Schreyer, R. Perna, M. W. Sommer, B. Klein, P. Slane

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Abstract

We report on submillimetre bolometer observations of the isolated neutron star RX J1856.5-3754 using the Large Apex Bolometer Camera bolometer array on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope. No cold dust continuum emission peak at the position of RX J1856.5-3754 was detected. The 3σ flux density upper limit of 5 mJy translates into a cold dust mass limit of a few earth masses. We use the new submillimetre limit, together with a previously obtained H-band limit, to constrain the presence of a gaseous, circumpulsar disc. Adopting a simple irradiated disc model, we obtain a mass accretion limit of and a maximum outer disc radius of ∼1014 cm. By examining the projected proper motion of RX J1856.5-3754, we speculate about a possible encounter of the neutron star with a dense fragment of the CrA molecular cloud a few thousand years ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1840-1844
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume405
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Posselt, B., Schreyer, K., Perna, R., Sommer, M. W., Klein, B., & Slane, P. (2010). Submillimetre observations of RX J1856.5-3754. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 405(3), 1840-1844. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16557.x