EDP Sciences
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Volume 376, Number 1, September II 2001
Page(s) 213 - 216
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010951

A&A 376, 213-216 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010951

Multicolor photometry of the Vela pulsar

R. P. Mignani1 and P. A. Caraveo2

1  ESO, Karl Schwarzchild Str. 2, 85740 Garching bei München, Germany
2  Istituto di Fisica Cosmica del CNR "G. Occhialini", Via Bassini 15, 20133 Milan, Italy

(Received 2 March 2001 / Accepted 29 June 2001)

Multicolor photometry of the Vela pulsar (PSR B0833-45), updated by recent HST/WFPC2 observations obtained in the 555W, 675W and 814W filters, is presented. The available data provide the best characterization so far of the pulsar spectral shape, which is dominated by a flat power law continuum with spectral index $\alpha = -0.2 \pm 0.2$, consistent with the extrapolation in the optical domain of the power law component of the X-ray spectrum detected by CHANDRA. In addition, a marginally significant dip ($\approx$3$\sigma$) seems to be present at about 6500 Å. Spectroscopic observations with the VLT, now in progress, will undoubtly provide a much better assessment of the reality and characteristics of this feature.

Key words: pulsars: individual: PSR B0833-45

Offprint request: R. P. Mignani, rmignani@eso.org

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