The binary companion of PSR J1740-3052

C. G. Bassa, W. F. Brisken, G. Nelemans, I. H. Stairs, B. W. Stappers, M. Kramer

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We report on the identification of a near-infrared counterpart to the massive (>11M·) binary companion of pulsar J1740-3052. An accurate celestial position of PSR J1740-3052 is determined from interferometric radio observations. Adaptive optics corrected near-infrared imaging observations show a counterpart at the interferometric position of the pulsar. The counterpart has Ks = 15.87 ± 0.10 and J - Ks > 0.83. Based on distance and absorption estimates from models of the Galactic electron and dust distributions, these observed magnitudes are consistent with those of a main-sequence star as the binary companion. We argue that this counterpart is the binary companion to PSR J1740-3052 and thus rule out a stellar mass black hole as the pulsar companion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L63-L67
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Astrometry
  • Binaries: general
  • Infrared: stars
  • Pulsars: general
  • Pulsars: individual: PSR J1740-3052
  • Stars: early-type


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