PI: Kevin Stovall, University of Texas Brownsville, email@example.com
Address: 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX, 78520, USA
CoI: David Kaplan, University of Wisconsin at Madison (Astronomy)
Title: The Hunt for the Companion of PSR J0636+51
Abstract: PSR J0636+51 was discovered in the Green Bank North Celestial Cap pulsar survey. Follow up analysis revealed the pulsar to be in a 96 minute orbit with an 8 Jupiter Mass companion. This makes it one of the tightest known pulsar binaries pulsar binaries, possibly related to the so called "Diamond Planet" system where the 1.2 Jupiter mass remains of a CO white dwarf orbit around a pulsar every 2.2 hours. We request 3 hours of Gemini North time in order to detect or provide an upper limit on the optical/near-IR emission from the companion. This system is likely to provide insight regarding multiple outstanding questions regarding the formation of millisecond pulsar (MSP) binaries and how MSPs, which are formed through accreting material from a companion, can become isolated. The observations proposed here are the first step in constraining the nature of the companion.
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