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Astron. Astrophys. 355, 603-606 (2000)

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Search for the optical counterpart of the 16ms X-ray pulsar in the LMC *

R.P. Mignani 1, L. Pulone 2, G. Marconi 2, G. Iannicola 2 and P.A. Caraveo 3,4

1 ESA/ST-ECF, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2 85740 Garching, Germany (rmignani@eso.org)
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
3 Istituto di Fisica Cosmica "G. Occhialini", CNR, Via Bassini 15, 20133 Milan, Italy
4 Istituto Astronomico, Via Lancisi 29, 00161 Rome, Italy

Received 19 August 1999 / Accepted 23 November 1999


The 16ms X-ray pulsar PSR J0537-6910 in SNR N157B is the fastest known isolated (non-recycled) pulsar and, with a rotational energy loss [FORMULA] erg s-1, is the most energetic (together with the Crab). Here we report the results of optical observations of the field, recently performed with the SUSI2 camera of the NTT. Few objects are observed inside the [FORMULA] 3" X-ray error circle but none of them can be convincingly associated to the pulsar, which appears undetected down to [FORMULA]. With a corresponding optical luminosity [FORMULA] erg s-1, PSR J0537-6910 is, at best, comparable to the other very young pulsars Crab and PSR B0540-69.

Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: PSR J0537-6910 – instrumentation: detectors

* Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile

Send offprint requests to: R.P. Mignani (rmignani@eso.org)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: March 9, 2000