Title

The Binary Companion Of Young, Relativistic Pulsar J1906+0746

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Abstract

PSR J1906+0746 is a young pulsar in the relativistic binary with the second-shortest known orbital period, of 3.98 hours. We here present a timing study based on five years of observations, conducted with the 5 largest radio telescopes in the world, aimed at determining the companion nature. Through the measurement of three post-Keplerian orbital parameters we find the pulsar mass to be 1.291(11) M_sol, and the companion mass 1.322(11) M_sol respectively. These masses fit well in the observed collection of double neutron stars, but are also compatible with other white dwarfs around young pulsars such as J1906+0746. Neither radio pulsations nor dispersion-inducing outflows that could have further established the companion nature were detected. We derive an HI-absorption distance, which indicates that an optical confirmation of a white dwarf companion is very challenging. The pulsar is fading fast due to geodetic precession, limiting future timing improvements. We conclude that young pulsar J1906+0746 is likely part of a double neutron star, or is otherwise orbited by an older white dwarf, in an exotic system formed through two stages of mass transfer.

Source Citation

van Leeuwen, J., Kasian, L., Stairs, I. H., Lorimer, D. R. (2015). The Binary Companion Of Young, Relativistic Pulsar J1906+0746. The Astrophysical Journal, 798(2), 118. http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/798/2/118

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