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Optical properties of small magellanic cloud X-ray binaries

Optical properties of small magellanic cloud X-ray binaries
Optical properties of small magellanic cloud X-ray binaries
This work represent the first major study of the optical and IR characteristics of the mass donor companions to the X-ray pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). In this work several new counterparts have been identified, and possible ones confirmed, as companions to X-ray pulsars in the SMC giving a total of 34 such objects now identified. In addition this work presents three new binary periods and confirms two X-ray periods using optical data for objects in this group. This homogeneous sample has been studied as a group to determine important general characteristics that may offer insight into the evolution of such systems. In particular, the spectral class distribution shows a much greater agreement with those of isolated Be stars, and appears to be in some disagreement with the galactic population of Be stars in Be/X-ray binaries. Studies of the long term optical modulation of the Be star companions reveal an extremely variable group of objects, a fact which will almost certainly make a major contribution to the pronounced X-ray variability. The spatial distribution of these systems within the SMC is investigated and strongly suggests a link between massive star formation and the HI density distribution. Finally, studies of the circumstellar disk characteristics reveal a strong link with optical variability offering important clues into the long-term stability of such disks.
stars, emission-line, Be x-rays, binaries magellanic clouds
0035-8711
502-514
Coe, M.J.
04dfb23b-1456-46a3-9242-5cee983471d5
Edge, W.R.T.
ddf5b928-0c17-4609-b443-ef45f04e9477
Galache, J.L.
f4b15a28-e3a7-49bb-9000-4e75df9d93ad
McBride, V.A.
36106df1-eae1-4eff-974e-2aba84523b85
Coe, M.J.
04dfb23b-1456-46a3-9242-5cee983471d5
Edge, W.R.T.
ddf5b928-0c17-4609-b443-ef45f04e9477
Galache, J.L.
f4b15a28-e3a7-49bb-9000-4e75df9d93ad
McBride, V.A.
36106df1-eae1-4eff-974e-2aba84523b85

Coe, M.J., Edge, W.R.T., Galache, J.L. and McBride, V.A. (2005) Optical properties of small magellanic cloud X-ray binaries. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 356 (2), 502-514. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.08467.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This work represent the first major study of the optical and IR characteristics of the mass donor companions to the X-ray pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). In this work several new counterparts have been identified, and possible ones confirmed, as companions to X-ray pulsars in the SMC giving a total of 34 such objects now identified. In addition this work presents three new binary periods and confirms two X-ray periods using optical data for objects in this group. This homogeneous sample has been studied as a group to determine important general characteristics that may offer insight into the evolution of such systems. In particular, the spectral class distribution shows a much greater agreement with those of isolated Be stars, and appears to be in some disagreement with the galactic population of Be stars in Be/X-ray binaries. Studies of the long term optical modulation of the Be star companions reveal an extremely variable group of objects, a fact which will almost certainly make a major contribution to the pronounced X-ray variability. The spatial distribution of these systems within the SMC is investigated and strongly suggests a link between massive star formation and the HI density distribution. Finally, studies of the circumstellar disk characteristics reveal a strong link with optical variability offering important clues into the long-term stability of such disks.

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More information

Published date: 2005
Keywords: stars, emission-line, Be x-rays, binaries magellanic clouds

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 37626
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37626
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: 453af31d-8bed-4292-a00c-8a112357c2e5
ORCID for M.J. Coe: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0763-8547

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 May 2006
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:17

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Contributors

Author: M.J. Coe ORCID iD
Author: W.R.T. Edge
Author: J.L. Galache
Author: V.A. McBride

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