Detection of an irradiated pulsar companion

B. W. Staffers, M. S. Bessell, M. Bailes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have detected the optical companion of the eclipsing millisecond pulsar J2051 -0827. The amplitude of the companion's light curve is at least 1.2 mag, and the variation is consistent with the companion's rotating synchronously about the pulsar and one side being heated by the impinging pulsar flux. PSR J2051-0827 is only the second pulsar binary for which direct heating of the companion has been observed. The R magnitude at maximum brightness is 22.3, but we failed to detect any flux from the companion at the phase corresponding to radio eclipse. The absolute magnitude and color temperature suggest that the companion fills its Roche lobe. © 1996. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)L119-L121
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • Binaries: eclipsing
    • Pulsars: individual (PSR J2051-0827)
    • Stars: neutron


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