PSR J1740-3052: a pulsar with a massive companion

I. H. Stairs, R. N. Manchester, A. G. Lyne, V. M. Kaspi, F. Camilo, J. F. Bell, N. D'Amico, M. Kramer, F. Crawford, D. J. Morris, A. Possenti, N. P. F. McKay, S. L. Lumsden, L. E. Tacconi-Garman, R. D. Cannon, N. C. Hambly, P. R. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report on the discovery of a binary pulsar, PSR J1740-3052, during the Parkes multibeam survey. Timing observations of the 570-ms pulsar at Jodrell Bank and Parkes show that it is young, with a characteristic age of 350kyr, and is in a 231-d, highly eccentric orbit with a companion whose mass exceeds 11Msolar. An accurate position for the pulsar was obtained using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Near-infrared 2.2-μm observations made with the telescopes at the Siding Spring observatory reveal a late-type star coincident with the pulsar position. However, we do not believe that this star is the companion of the pulsar, because a typical star of this spectral type and required mass would extend beyond the orbit of the pulsar. Furthermore, the measured advance of periastron of the pulsar suggests a more compact companion, for example, a main-sequence star with radius only a few times that of the Sun. Such a companion is also more consistent with the small dispersion measure variations seen near periastron. Although we cannot conclusively rule out a black hole companion, we believe that the companion is probably an early B star, making the system similar to the binary PSR J0045-7319.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-988
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume325
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2001

Keywords

  • BINARIES: GENERAL
  • STARS: LATE-TYPE
  • STARS: MASS-LOSS
  • PULSARS: GENERAL
  • PULSARS: INDIVIDUAL: PSR J1740-3052
  • X-RAYS: STARS

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