Volume 406, Number 1, July IV 2003
|Page(s)||245 - 252|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Deep optical observations of the fields of two nearby millisecond pulsars with the VLT*
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
2 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
3 Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Corresponding author: A. Reisenegger, email@example.com
Accepted: 7 May 2003
We report on deep VLT observations of the fields of two nearby, isolated millisecond pulsars, PSR J1744-1134 and PSR J1024-0719. Both objects are old neutron stars with characteristic age yr and have relatively high spin-down flux. They have been detected earlier as X-ray sources by ROSAT HRI observations and were considered good candidates for non-thermal emission in the optical bands. Our observations set an upper limit of , and for PSR J1744-1134. In the case of PSR J1024-0719, we find two faint objects near the radio position of the pulsar. Using multi-band photometry from the VLT and spectroscopy carried out with the Magellan I telescope, we discuss the nature of the brighter object and the possibility of the fainter one being the optical counterpart of PSR J1024-0719. We consider the implications of our findings for both pulsars in the context of theoretical models of high-energy emission from old pulsars.
Key words: stars: neutron / pulsars: general / pulsars: individual: PSR J1024-0719, PSR J1744-1134 / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / radiation mechanisms: thermal
© ESO, 2003
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