The distance and radius of the neutron star PSR B0656+14

Walter F. Brisken, S. E. Thorsett, A. Golden, W. M. Goss

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We present the result of astrometric observations of the radio pulsar PSR B0656+14, made using the Very Long Baseline Array. The parallax of the pulsar is π = 3.47 ± 0.36 milliarcsec, yielding a distance 288 -27+33 pc. This independent distance estimate has been used to constrain existing models of thermal X-ray emission from the neutron star's photosphere. Simple blackbody fits to the X-ray data formally yield a neutron star radius R∼ 7-8.5 km. With more realistic fits to a magnetized hydrogen atmosphere, any radius between ∼13 and ∼20 km is allowed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L89-L92
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Aug 20 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box O, Socorro, NM 87801; 2Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. 3National University of Ireland, Newcastle Road, Galway, Republic of Ireland. 4The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.


  • Astrometry
  • Equation of state
  • Stars: neutron


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