The light curve of the companion to PSR B1957+20

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Reynolds, Mark T.
Callanan, Paul J.
Fruchter, Andrew S.
Torres, M. A. P.
Beer, M. E.
Gibbons, R. A.
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Oxford University Press
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We present a new analysis of the light curve for the secondary star in the eclipsing binary millisecond pulsar system PSR B1957+20. Combining previous data and new data points at minimum from the Hubble Space Telescope, we have 100 per cent coverage in the R-band. We also have a number of new K-s-band data points, which we use to constrain the infrared magnitude of the system. We model this with the eclipsing light-curve (ELC) code. From the modelling with the ELC code we obtain colour information about the secondary at minimum light in BVRI and K. For our best-fitting model we are able to constrain the system inclination to 65 degrees +/- 2 degrees for pulsar masses ranging from 1.3 to 1.9 M-circle dot. The pulsar mass is unconstrained. We also find that the secondary star is not filling its Roche lobe. The temperature of the unirradiated side of the companion is in agreement with previous estimates and we find that the observed temperature gradient across the secondary star is physically sustainable.
Binaries , Eclipsing , Stars , Low mass , Brown dwarfs , Neutron , Pulsars , Individual , PSR B1957+20
Reynolds, M. T., Callanan, P. J., Fruchter, A. S., Torres, M. A. P., Beer, M. E. and Gibbons, R. A. (2007) 'The light curve of the companion to PSR B1957+20', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 379(3), pp. 1117-1122. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11991.x
© 2007, the Authors. Journal compilation © 2007, RAS