In this work, we present the results of 1 yr of upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope timing measurements of PSR J0514-4002A, a 4.99-ms pulsar in a 18.8-d eccentric ([Formula: see text]) orbit with a massive companion located in the globular cluster NGC 1851. Combining these data with earlier Green Bank Telescope data, we greatly improve the precision of the rate of advance of periastron, [Formula: see text] which, assuming the validity of general relativity, results in a much refined measurement of the total mass of the binary, [Formula: see text]. Additionally, we measure the Einstein delay parameter, γ, something that has never been done for any binary system with an orbital period larger than [Formula: see text]10 h. The measured value, [Formula: see text], is by far the largest for any binary pulsar. Furthermore, we measure the proper motion of the system ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]), which is not only important for analysing its motion in the cluster, but is also essential for a proper interpretation of γ, given the latter parameter's correlation with the variation of the projected semimajor axis. The measurements of γ and the proper motion enable a separation of the system component masses: we obtain a pulsar mass of [Formula: see text] and a companion mass of [Formula: see text]. This raises the possibility that the companion is also a neutron star. Searches for radio pulsations from the companion have thus far been unsuccessful; hence, we cannot confirm the latter hypothesis. The low mass of this millisecond pulsar - one of the lowest ever measured for such objects - clearly indicates that the recycling process can be achieved with a relatively small amount of mass transfer.
Keywords: (Galaxy:) globular clusters: individual (NGC 1851); (stars:) binaries: general; (stars:) pulsars: general; (stars:) pulsars: individual: PSR J0514−4002A; stars: neutron.
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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