Letter to the Editor
Optical STJ observations of the Crab Pulsar
N. Rando and
Received 19 April 1999 / Accepted 3 May 1999
We report the first observations of an astronomical object using a superconducting tunnel junction (STJ) device, a pixel detector with intrinsic energy resolution in the optical wavelength range. The Crab pulsar was observed using a array of Tantalum STJs at the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope on La Palma. Each array element provides photon counting capability recording up to photons pix-1 s-1 with an arrival time accuracy of about 5 µs, and providing a wavelength resolution of about 100 nm. We derive a photometrically resolved light curve which, however, shows no significant colour index variations with pulsar phase.
Key words: instrumentation: detectors stars: pulsars: individual: Crab
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999
Online publication: May 21, 1999