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Title: IDENTIFICATION OF THE OPTICAL COUNTERPART OF FERMI BLACK WIDOW MILLISECOND PULSAR PSR J1544+4937

We report the optical identification of the companion to the Fermi black widow millisecond pulsar PSR J1544+4937. We find a highly variable source on Keck Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer images at the nominal pulsar position, with 2 mag variations over orbital period in the B, g, R, and I bands. The nearly achromatic light curves are difficult to explain with a simply irradiated hemisphere model, and suggest that the optical emission is dominated by a nearly isothermal hot patch on the surface of the companion facing the pulsar. We roughly constrain the distance to PSR J1544+4937 to be between 2 and 5 kpc. A more reliable distance measurement is needed in order to constrain the composition of the companion.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. Physics Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (United States)
  3. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ (United Kingdom)
  4. Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States)
  5. Institute of Astronomy and Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan (China)
  6. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  7. Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365403
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 791; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DIAGRAMS; GAMMA RADIATION; IRRADIATION; PULSARS; RESOLUTION; SPECTROMETERS; STAR MODELS; SURFACES; VARIATIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION; WHITE DWARF STARS