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Astron. Astrophys. 358, 605-611 (2000)

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A deep search for the optical counterpart to the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E 2259+58.6

F. Hulleman 1, M.H. van Kerkwijk 1, F.W.M. Verbunt 1 and S.R. Kulkarni 2

1 Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 Palomar Observatory, California Institute of Technology 105-24, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Received 10 January 2000 / Accepted 9 March 2000

Abstract

We present Keck R and I band images of the field of the anomalous X-ray pulsar 1E 2259+58.6. We derive an improved X-ray position from archival ROSAT HRI observations by correcting for systematic (boresight) errors. Within the corresponding error circle, no object is found on the Keck images, down to limiting magnitudes [FORMULA] and [FORMULA]. We discuss the constraints imposed by these limits, and conclude that it is unlikely that 1E 2259+58.6 is powered by accretion from a disk, irrespective of whether it is in a binary or not, unless the binary is extremely compact.

Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: 1E 2259+58.6 – accretion, accretion disks – stars: neutron – stars: white dwarfs – X-rays: stars

Send offprint requests to: F.Hulleman@astro.uu.nl

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 8, 2000
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