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Keywords:

  • astrometry;
  • binaries: general;
  • stars: early-type;
  • pulsars: general;
  • pulsars: individual: PSR J1740−3052;
  • infrared: stars

ABSTRACT

We report on the identification of a near-infrared counterpart to the massive (>11 M) binary companion of pulsar J1740−3052. An accurate celestial position of PSR J1740−3052 is determined from interferometric radio observations. Adaptive optics corrected near-infrared imaging observations show a counterpart at the interferometric position of the pulsar. The counterpart has Ks= 15.87 ± 0.10 and JKs > 0.83. Based on distance and absorption estimates from models of the Galactic electron and dust distributions, these observed magnitudes are consistent with those of a main-sequence star as the binary companion. We argue that this counterpart is the binary companion to PSR J1740−3052 and thus rule out a stellar mass black hole as the pulsar companion.