Volume 389, Number 1, July I 2002
|Page(s)||L1 - L5|
|Published online||14 June 2002|
Letter to the Editor
Discovery of an optical bow-shock around pulsar B0740-28*
European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Observatorio Cerro Calán, Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
3 Stichting ASTRON, 7990 Dwingeloo, The Netherlands e-mail: email@example.com
4 Sterrenkundig Instituut “Anton Pannekoek”, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge MA 02138, USA
Corresponding author: D. H. Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 April 2002
We report the discovery of a faint Hα pulsar wind nebula (PWN) powered by the radio pulsar B0740-28. The characteristic bow-shock morphology of the PWN implies a direction of motion consistent with the previously measured velocity vector for the pulsar. The PWN has a flux density more than an order of magnitude lower than for the PWNe seen around other pulsars, but, for a distance 2 kpc, it is consistent with propagation through a medium of atomic density cm-3, and neutral fraction of 1%. The morphology of the PWN in the area close to the pulsar is distinct from that in downstream regions, as is also seen for the PWN powered by PSR B2224+65. In particular, the PWN associated with PSR B0740–28 appears to close at its rear, suggesting that the pulsar has recently passed through a transition from low density to high density ambient gas. The faintness of this source underscores that deep searches are needed to find further examples of optical pulsar nebulae.
Key words: ISM: general / pulsars: individual: B0740-28
© ESO, 2002
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