EDP Sciences
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Volume 395, Number 3, December I 2002
Page(s) 845 - 851
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021013

A&A 395, 845-851 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021013

Detection of new optical counterpart candidates to PSR B1951+32 with HST/WFPC2

R. F. Butler, A. Golden and A. Shearer

National University of Ireland, Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland
(Received 13 September 2001 / Accepted 4 July 2002)

There remain several definitive $\gamma$-ray pulsars that are as yet undetected in the optical regime. A classic case is the pulsar PSR B1951+32, associated with the complex CTB 80 SNR. Previous ground based high speed 2-d optical studies have ruled out candidates to $m_{V} \sim 24$. Hester (2000a) has reported an analysis of archival HST/WFPC2 observations of the CTB 80 complex which suggest a compact synchrotron nebula coincident with the pulsar's radio position. Performing a similar analysis, we have identified a possible optical counterpart within this synchrotron nebula at $m_{V}\sim 25.5{-}26$, and another optical counterpart candidate nearby at $m_{V}\sim 24.5$. We assess the reality of these counterpart candidates in the context of existing models of pulsar emission.

Key words: stars: pulsars: general -- stars: pulsars: individual: PSR B1951+32 -- ISM: supernova remnants -- ISM: individual objects: CTB 80

Offprint request: R. F. Butler, ray@physics.nuigalway.ie

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