Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 395, 845-851 (2002/12-1)
Detection of new optical counterpart candidates to PSR B1951+32 with HST/WFPC2.
BUTLER R.F., GOLDEN A. and SHEARER A.
Abstract (from CDS):
There remain several definitive γ-ray pulsars that are as yet undetected in the optical regime. A classic case is the pulsar PSR B1951+32, associated with the complex CTB 80 SNR. Previous ground based high speed 2-d optical studies have ruled out candidates to mV∼24. Hester (2000, in Spin and Magnetism in Young Neutron Stars, conference, Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara) has reported an analysis of archival HST/WFPC2 observations of the CTB 80 complex which suggest a compact synchrotron nebula coincident with the pulsar's radio position. Performing a similar analysis, we have identified a possible optical counterpart within this synchrotron nebula at mV∼25.5-26, and another optical counterpart candidate nearby at mV∼24.5. We assess the reality of these counterpart candidates in the context of existing models of pulsar emission.