Volume 429, Number 1, January I 2005
|Page(s)||257 - 265|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||13 December 2004|
The proper motion of the isolated neutron star RX J1605.3+3249 *
Observatoire Astronomique, UMR 7550 CNRS, 11 rue de l'Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
3 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, 85740 Garching bei München, Germany
4 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Accepted: 6 August 2004
We obtained deep optical imaging of the thermally emitting X-ray bright and radio-quiet isolated neutron star RX J1605.3+3249 with the Subaru telescope in 1999 and 2003. Together with archival HST images acquired in 2001 these data reveal a proper motion of mas/yr. This implies a relatively high spatial velocity and indicates that the star is unlikely to be re-heated by accretion of matter from the interstellar medium. Assuming that RX J1605.3+3249 is a young (10 yr) cooling neutron star, its apparent trajectory is consistent with a birth in the nearby Sco OB2 OB association at a location close to that derived for RX J1856.5-3754 and perhaps also to that of RX J0720.4-3125. This suggests that the X-ray bright part of ROSAT-discovered isolated neutron stars is dominated by the production of the Sco OB2 complex which is the closest OB association and a part of the Gould belt. The B and R magnitudes of the faint optical counterpart did not vary from 1999 to 2003 at . Its colour index of is significantly redder than that of other isolated neutron stars and the optical flux lies a factor 11.5 above the extrapolation of the X-ray blackbody-like spectrum. The red optical colour reveals the presence of an additional emitting component in the optical regime over the main neutron star thermal emission. We also discovered a small elongated Hα nebula approximately centered on the neutron star and aligned with the direction of motion. The width of the nebula is unresolved and smaller than ~0.4´´ for a length of about 1´´. The shape of the Balmer emitting nebula around RX J1605.3+3249 is very different from those seen close to other neutron stars and should be confirmed by follow-up observations. We shortly discuss the possible mechanisms which could give rise to such a geometry.
Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: RX J51605.3+3249 / stars: neutron
© ESO, 2005
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