PSR J0210+5845: Ultra-wide binary pulsar with a B6 V main sequence star companion

van der Wateren, E.; Bassa, C. G.; Janssen, G. H.; Yanes-Rizo, I. V.; Casares, J.; Nelemans, G.; Stappers, B. W.; Tan, C. M.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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We report on radio timing observations of PSR J0210+5845 that reveal large deviations from typical pulsar spin-down behaviour. We interpret these deviations as being due to the binary motion around the V = 13.5 star 2MASS J02105640+5845176, which is coincident in terms of its celestial position and distance with the pulsar. Archival observations and new optical spectroscopy have identified this object as a B6 V star, with a temperature of Teff ≈ 14 000 K and a mass of Mc = 3.5 to 3.8 M⊙, making it the lowest mass for a main sequence star known to be orbiting a non-recycled pulsar. We find that the timing observations constrain the binary orbit to be wide and moderately eccentric, with an orbital period of Pb = 47−14+40 yr and eccentricity of e = 0.46−0.07+0.10. We predict that the next periastron passage will occur between 2030 and 2034. Due to the low companion mass, we find that the probability for a system with the properties of PSR J0210+5845 and its binary companion to survive the supernova is low. We show that a low velocity and fortuitously directed natal kick is required for the binary to remain bound during the supernova explosion and we argue that an electron-capture supernova is a plausible formation scenario for the pulsar.