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

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    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 350 kyr, and is in a 231-d, highly eccentric orbit with a companion whose mass exceeds 11M. 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
    Number of pages10
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2001


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