MeerKAT caught a Mini Mouse: serendipitous detection of a young radio pulsar escaping its birth site

S. E. Motta, James Turner, Benjamin Stappers, R. P. Fender, I. Heywood, M. Kramer

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Abstract

In MeerKAT observations pointed at a Galactic X-ray binary located on the Galactic plane, we serendipitously discovered a radio nebula with cometary-like morphology. The feature, which we named ‘the Mini Mouse’ based on its similarity with the previously discovered ‘Mouse’ nebula, points back towards the previously unidentified candidate supernova remnant G45.24+0.18. We observed the location of the Mini Mouse with MeerKAT in two different observations, and we localized with arcsecond precision the 138-ms radio pulsar PSR J1914+1054g, recently discovered by the FAST telescope, to a position consistent with the head of the nebula. We confirm a dispersion measure of about 418 pc cm−3 corresponding to a distance between 7.8 and 8.8 kpc based on models of the electron distribution. Using our accurate localization and two period measurements spaced 90 d apart, we calculate a period derivative of (2.7 ± 0.3) × 10 −14 s s−1. We derive a characteristic age of approximately 82 kyr and a spin-down luminosity of 4 × 1035 erg s−1. For a pulsar age comparable with the characteristic age, we find that the projected velocity of the neutron star is between 320 and 360 km s−1 if it was born at the location of the supernova remnant. The size of the proposed remnant appears small if compared with the pulsar characteristic age; however, the relatively high density of the environment near the Galactic plane could explain a suppressed expansion rate and thus a smaller remnant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2850-2857
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume523
Issue number2
Early online date12 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • X-rays: binaries
  • accretion, accretion discs
  • black hole physics
  • pulsars: individual: PSR J1914+1054g
  • stars: jets

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