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In this work, we report the discovery and characterization of PSR J1411+2551, a new binary pulsar discovered in the Arecibo 327 MHz Drift Pulsar Survey. Our timing observations of the radio pulsar in the system span a period of about 2.5 years. This timing campaign allowed a precise measurement of its spin period (62.4 ms) and its derivative (9.6 ±0.7) ×10 -20 s s -1 ; from these, we derive a characteristic age of >9.1 Gyr and a surface magnetic field strength of <2.6 ×10 9 G. These numbers indicate that this pulsar was mildly recycled by accretion of matter from the progenitor of the companion star. The system has an eccentric (e =0.17) 2.61 day orbit. This eccentricity allows a highly significant measurement of the rate of advance of periastron, . Assuming general relativity accurately describes the orbital motion, this implies a total system mass M =2.538 ±0.022 M o . The minimum companion mass is 0.92 M o and the maximum pulsar mass is 1.62 M o . The large companion mass and the orbital eccentricity suggest that PSR J1411+2551 is a double neutron star system; the lightest known to date including the DNS merger GW170817. Furthermore, the relatively low orbital eccentricity and small proper motion limits suggest that the second supernova had a relatively small associated kick; this and the low system mass suggest that it was an ultra-stripped supernova.


© Astrophysical Journal Letters. Original version available at:

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Astrophysical Journal Letters





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