Astronomy:Optical pulsar

From HandWiki

An optical pulsar is a pulsar which can be detected in the visible spectrum. There are very few of these known: the Crab Pulsar was detected by stroboscopic techniques in 1969,[1][2] shortly after its discovery in radio waves, at the Steward Observatory. The Vela Pulsar was detected in 1977 at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, and was the faintest star ever imaged at that time.

Six known optical pulsars are listed by Shearer and Golden (2002):[3]

Name of pulsar Magnitude
Crab Pulsar (CM Tauri, PSR B0531+21) 16.5
Vela Pulsar 24
PSR B0540-69 (in the Large Magellanic Cloud) 23
PSR B0656+14 26
PSR B0633+17 (Geminga) 25.5
PSR B1509-58 (*) 25.7
*Source included but not discussed in paper by source paper.


  1. COCKE, W. J.; DISNEY, M. J.; TAYLOR, D. J. (February 1969). "Discovery of Optical Signals from Pulsar NP 0532". Nature 221 (5180): 525–527. doi:10.1038/221525a0. Bibcode1969Natur.221..525C. 
  2. NATHER, R. E.; WARNER, B.; MACFARLANE, M. (February 1969). "Optical Pulsations in the Crab Nebula Pulsar". Nature 221 (5180): 527–529. doi:10.1038/221527a0. Bibcode1969Natur.221..527N. 
  3. Proceedings of the 270. WE-Heraeus Seminar on Neutron Stars, Pulsars, and Supernova Remnants. MPE Report 278.; "Why study pulsars optically?"; Shearer, A. & Golden, A.; 2002; Bibcode2002nsps.conf...44S, arxiv

External links