EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 500, Number 2, June III 2009
Page(s) 861 - 865
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200911648
Published online 29 April 2009
A&A 500, 861-865 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911648

The emission polarization of RX J1856.5-3754

N. Chkheidze

Tbilisi State University, Chavchavadze Avenue 3, 0128, Tbilisi, Georgia
    e-mail: n.chkheidze@gmail.com

Received 12 January 2009 / Accepted 18 March 2009

The polarization properties of RX J1856.5-3754 are investigated, based on the plasma emission model presented in previous works. It is shown that if the emission of this source is generated by the synchrotron mechanism, then the X-ray and the optical emission should be linearly polarized and the corresponding degrees of linear polarization are calculated. The change of the position angle through the observable period is investigated. According to the model, the position angle should undergo a full-circle rotation more than once within this period. This unusual behaviour of the position angle is a prediction of the model and its detection would be a strong argument in favour of it. The measurement of the polarization patterns of this source appears to be the most reliable way to make clear its real emission nature.

Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: RX J1856.5-3754 -- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal -- polarization

© ESO 2009