The distance and radius of the neutron star PSR B0656+14

Walter F. Brisken, S. E. Thorsett, A. Golden, W. M. Goss

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We present the result of astrometric observations of the radio pulsar PSR B0656+14, made using the Very Long Baseline Array. The parallax of the pulsar is π = 3.47 ± 0.36 milliarcsec, yielding a distance 288 -27+33 pc. This independent distance estimate has been used to constrain existing models of thermal X-ray emission from the neutron star's photosphere. Simple blackbody fits to the X-ray data formally yield a neutron star radius R∼ 7-8.5 km. With more realistic fits to a magnetized hydrogen atmosphere, any radius between ∼13 and ∼20 km is allowed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L89-L92
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Aug 20 2003


  • Astrometry
  • Equation of state
  • Stars: neutron

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    Brisken, W. F., Thorsett, S. E., Golden, A., & Goss, W. M. (2003). The distance and radius of the neutron star PSR B0656+14. Astrophysical Journal, 593(2 II), L89-L92.