A candidate optical counterpart to the middle agedγ-ray pulsar psr j1741–2054
Mignani, R. P.
Luca, A. De
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Mignani, R. P. Testa, V.; Marelli, M.; Luca, A. De; Salvetti, D.; Belfiore, A.; Pierbattista, M.; Razzano, M.; Shearer, A.; Moran, P. (2016). A candidate optical counterpart to the middle agedγ-ray pulsar psr j1741–2054. The Astrophysical Journal 825 (2),
We carried out deep optical observations of the middle aged gamma-ray pulsar PSR J1741-2054 with the Very Large Telescope (VLT). We identified two objects, of magnitudes m(v) = 23.10 +/- 0.05 and m(v) = 25.32 +/- 0.08, at positions consistent with the very accurate Chandra coordinates of the pulsar, the faintest of which is more likely to be its counterpart. From the VLT images we also detected the known bow-shock nebula around PSR J1741 -2054. The nebula is displaced by similar to 0.'' 9 (at the 3 sigma confidence level) with respect to its position measured in archival data, showing that the shock propagates in the interstellar medium consistently with the pulsar proper motion. Finally, we could not find evidence of large-scale extended optical emission associated with the pulsar wind nebula detected by Chandra, down to a surface brightness limit of similar to 28.1 mag arcsec(-2). Future observations are needed to confirm the optical identification of PSR J1741-2054 and characterize the spectrum of its counterpart.