We report the discovery of six new magnetar counterpart candidates from deep near-infrared Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging. The new candidates are among a sample of 19 magnetars for which we present HST data obtained between 2018 and 2020. We confirm the variability of previously established near-infrared counterparts, and newly identify candidates for PSR J1622-4950, Swift J1822.3-1606, CXOU J171405.7-381031, Swift J1833-0832, Swift J1834.9-0846, and AX J1818.8-1559 based on their proximity to X-ray localizations. The new candidates are compared with the existing counterpart population in terms of their colours, magnitudes, and near-infrared to X-ray spectral indices. We find two candidates for AX J1818 that are both consistent with previously established counterparts. The other new candidates are likely to be chance alignments, or otherwise have a different origin for their near-infrared emission not previously seen in magnetar counterparts. Further observations and studies of these candidates are needed to firmly establish their nature.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- June 2022
- stars: magnetars;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 11 pages, 5 figures, 3 tables, accepted for publication in MNRAS