NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0005

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0005


PI: Roger Romani, Stanford University, rwr@astro.stanford.edu
Address: Department of Physics, Stanford, CA, 94305-4060, USA

CoI: Alexei Filippenko, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: S. Bradley Cenko, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)

Title: Weighing the Most Extreme Black Widow

Abstract: The recently discovered black widow pulsar J1311-3430 solves a 20 year mystery, explaining an unidentified gamma-ray source. This system has the shortest orbital period of any pulsar, a unique 0.01Msun He-dominated companion and a very powerful evaporating pulsar wind. Our exploratory Keck LRIS spectra show that the neutron star is extremely massive. Our proposed GMOS-S campaign measures the companion photosphere heating, probes the pulsar wind stripping and weighs the neutron star. If as massive as the initial data suggest, this is a fundamental physics result presenting strong constrains on the dense matter equation of state.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0005

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