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Astron. Astrophys. 343, L15-L18 (1999)

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Letter to the Editor

Deep optical observations at the position of PSR1706-44 with the VLT-UT1 *

Peter Lundqvist 1, Jesper Sollerman 1, Alak Ray 2, Bruno Leibundgut 3 and Firoza Sutaria 4

1 Stockholm Observatory, SE-133 36 Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
2 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay 400 005, India
3 European Southern Observatory, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany
4 Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune 411 007, India

Received 23 November 1998 / Accepted 4 December 1998


We present optical data gathered by the VLT Test Camera in the V -band at the radio (interferometric) position of PSR1706-44. We find no optical counterpart to the pulsar in the VLT image. At a distance of 2:007 from a nearby bright star, the 3[FORMULA] upper limit to the pulsar magnitude above the background is [FORMULA]. Within an error circle of 1:000 the upper limit is degraded in the direction towards the star. At a distance [FORMULA] from the star we can with confidence only claim an upper limit of [FORMULA]. This is still several magnitudes fainter than previous estimates. The implications of the optical upper limit taken together with the high energy pulsed gamma-ray radiation for theoretical models of pulsar emission are discussed.

Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: PSR1706-44 – telescopes – stars: pulsars: general

* Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile (VLT-UT1 Science Verification Program)

Correspondence to: peter@astro.su.se

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 1, 1999