NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0125

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0125


PI: Kevin Stovall, University of New Mexico, stovall.kevin@gmail.com
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy and Institute for Astrophysics, Albuquerque, NM, 87131, USA

CoI: David Kaplan, University of Wisconsin at Madison (Astronomy)

Title: Constraining the Nature of PSR J0636+5129's Companion

Abstract: PSR J0636+5129 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, and have determined the distance to this system to be only 203 +/- 27 pc. 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. 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.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0125

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