EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 370, Number 3, May II 2001
Page(s) 1004 - 1016
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010289

A&A 370, 1004-1016 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010289

Optical photometry of the PSR B0656+14 and its neighborhood

A. B. Koptsevich1, 2, 3, G. G. Pavlov2, S. V. Zharikov3, 4, V. V. Sokolov3, Yu. A. Shibanov1 and V. G. Kurt5

1  Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, Politekhnicheskaya 26, St. Petersburg 194021, Russia
    e-mail: shib@stella.ioffe.rssi.ru
2  The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA
    e-mail: pavlov@astro.psu.edu
3  Special Astrophysical Observatory of RAS, Karachai-Cherkessia, Nizhnij Arkhyz 357147, Russia
    e-mail: sokolov@sao.ru
4  Observatorio Astronomico Nacional de Instituto de Astronomia de UNAM, Ensenada, B.C., 22860, Mexico
    e-mail: zhar@astrosen.unam.mx
5  Astro Space Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117810, Russia
    e-mail: vkurt@asc.rssi.ru

(Received 25 July 2000 / Accepted 22 February 2001)

We present the results of broad-band photometry of the nearby middle-aged radio pulsar PSR B0656+14 and its neighborhood obtained with the 6-meter telescope of the SAO RAS and with the Hubble Space Telescope . The broad-band spectral flux $F_\nu$ of the pulsar decreases with increasing frequency in the near-IR range and increases with frequency in the near-UV range. The increase towards UV can be naturally interpreted as the Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the soft thermal component of the X-ray spectrum emitted from the surface of the cooling neutron star. Continuation of the power-law component, which dominates in the high-energy tail of the X-ray spectrum, to the IR-optical-UV frequencies is consistent with the observed fluxes. This suggests that the non-thermal pulsar radiation may be of the same origin in a broad frequency range from IR to hard X-rays. We also studied 4 objects detected within 5´´from the pulsar.

Key words: stars: neutron -- pulsars: individual: PSR B0656+14, Geminga

Offprint request: A. B. Koptsevich, kopts@astro.ioffe.rssi.ru

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