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Astron. Astrophys. 333, L16-L18 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Time-resolved optical observations of PSR 1509-58 *

A. Shearer 1, C.M.M.O' Sullivan 2, A. Golden 2, P.V.R. Garcia 3, M. Redfern 2, A. Danks 4 and M. Cullum 5

1 Information Technology Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
2 Department of Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
3 CRAL/Observatoire de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5574, France and Centro de Astrofisica da Universidade do Porto, Portugal
4 STX/Goddard Space Flight Centre, Greenbank, Maryland, US
5 European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Received 28 November 1997 / Accepted 6 January 1998


Using time resolved 2-dimensional aperture photometry we have established that the optical candidate for PSR 1509-58 does not pulse. Our pulsed upper limits ([FORMULA] = 24.3 and [FORMULA] = 25.7) put severe constraints on this being the optical counterpart. Furthermore the colours of the candidate star are consistent with a main sequence star at a distance of 2-4 kpc. The probability of a chance coincidence with a normal star and the difficulty of explaining the lack of pulsed emission leads us to conclude that this object is an intermediate field star.

Key words: pulsars: individual: PSR 1509-58

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

Send offprint requests to: A Shearer, (e-mail: andy.shearer@ucg.ie)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 15, 1998