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Astron. Astrophys. 326, 1066-1068

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Research Note

Minutes timescale search for a pulsar in SNR 1987 A*

T. Narita1, H. Ögelman1, and C. Gouiffes2

1Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1150 University Ave. Madison, WI 53706, USA
2Service d'Astrophysique CEA/DSM/DAPNIA C.E. Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Received 3 February 1997 / Accepted 12 May 1997


We have searched for minutes to hours timescale optical modulation from SNR 1987 A due to occultation of the putative neutron star by passing dust clouds. For this study, photometric images of the supernova were taken at one minute intervals using the NTT at ESO. We did not detect significant optical variability on this timescale from the supernova against the background of the two nearby stars. Based on our findings, we cannot rule out the possibility of an optical pulsar. However, if the neutron star is temporally obscured, we set an upper limit on the magnitude of the pulsar in the R band 20.1.

Key words: supernovae: SN 1987 A - pulsars

*Observations made at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 1, 1997
Last change: April 8, 1998