In observations of six binary millisecond pulsars with the Hubble Space Telescope, we have discovered white dwarf companions to PSRs J0034-0534, J1022+1001, and J1713+0747 and improved photometry on PSRs J1640+2224 and J2145-0750. The companion to PSR J2019+2425 was not detected down to m_I=25.4. For the five companions detected, effective temperatures were estimated for the colors measured. Two of the white dwarfs, J0034-0534 and J1713+0747, are among the coolest and oldest known. Using distance estimates to the pulsars, the absolute luminosities were determined. Constrains on the masses and cooling times were obtained from the luminosities and temperatures. The results for each pulsar were related to expectations based on models for white dwarf cooling, Roche lobe overflow in the preceding low-mass X-ray binary phase, and mass accretion rate/neutron star spin period relations. Precision pulsar astrophysics at the Naval Research Laboratory is supported by the Office of Naval Research. SL is supported by a post-doctoral fellowship through the National Research Council. FC acknowledges support from NSF grant AST 91-15103 and a fellowship under the auspices of the European Commission.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1995