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A luminous gamma-ray binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud

A luminous gamma-ray binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud
A luminous gamma-ray binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Gamma-ray binaries consist of a neutron star or a black hole interacting with a normal star to produce gamma-ray emission that dominates the radiative output of the system. Only a handful of such systems have been previously discovered, all within our Galaxy. Here, we report the discovery of a luminous gamma-ray binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud, found with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), from a search for periodic modulation in all sources in the third Fermi LAT catalog. This is the first such system to be found outside the Milky Way. The system has an orbital period of 10.3 days, and is associated with a massive O5III star located in the supernova remnant DEM L241, previously identified as the candidate high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) CXOU J053600.0–673507. X-ray and radio emission are also modulated on the 10.3 day period, but are in anti-phase with the gamma-ray modulation. Optical radial velocity measurements suggest that the system contains a neutron star. The source is significantly more luminous than similar sources in the Milky Way, at radio, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths. The detection of this extra-galactic system, but no new Galactic systems, raises the possibility that the predicted number of gamma-ray binaries in our Galaxy has been overestimated, and that HMXBs may be born containing relatively slowly rotating neutron stars.
1538-4357
1-10
Corbet, R.H.D.
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Chomiuk, L.
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Coe, Malcolm
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Coley, J.B.
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Dubus, G.
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Edwards, P.G.
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Martin, P.
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McBride, V.A.
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Stevens, J.
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Strader, J.
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Townsend, L.J.
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Udalski, A.
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Corbet, R.H.D.
7d365a78-a577-4f56-8d3a-503b7fccb42b
Chomiuk, L.
71fe2d37-8846-4d13-8bcd-b8459a57aa93
Coe, Malcolm
04dfb23b-1456-46a3-9242-5cee983471d5
Coley, J.B.
814a8719-9e16-4cf9-be01-ffde5947ad87
Dubus, G.
5c058290-e721-4e76-9ed9-1fe57a4128e4
Edwards, P.G.
0951a58c-3779-4437-9ad7-8f3961e1f400
Martin, P.
0086bfc9-c9fa-4d0c-90e5-eb8e01e5b452
McBride, V.A.
36106df1-eae1-4eff-974e-2aba84523b85
Stevens, J.
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Strader, J.
65549124-aafe-4b6e-a5cb-2ca8b2624843
Townsend, L.J.
383d1487-54d3-4912-82d3-1cc3b4b28d5e
Udalski, A.
a7d3b194-1531-47cd-a634-abe3b8b067b0

Corbet, R.H.D., Chomiuk, L., Coe, Malcolm, Coley, J.B., Dubus, G., Edwards, P.G., Martin, P., McBride, V.A., Stevens, J., Strader, J., Townsend, L.J. and Udalski, A. (2016) A luminous gamma-ray binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Astrophysical Journal, 829 (105), 1-10. (doi:10.3847/0004-637X/829/2/105).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Gamma-ray binaries consist of a neutron star or a black hole interacting with a normal star to produce gamma-ray emission that dominates the radiative output of the system. Only a handful of such systems have been previously discovered, all within our Galaxy. Here, we report the discovery of a luminous gamma-ray binary in the Large Magellanic Cloud, found with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), from a search for periodic modulation in all sources in the third Fermi LAT catalog. This is the first such system to be found outside the Milky Way. The system has an orbital period of 10.3 days, and is associated with a massive O5III star located in the supernova remnant DEM L241, previously identified as the candidate high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) CXOU J053600.0–673507. X-ray and radio emission are also modulated on the 10.3 day period, but are in anti-phase with the gamma-ray modulation. Optical radial velocity measurements suggest that the system contains a neutron star. The source is significantly more luminous than similar sources in the Milky Way, at radio, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths. The detection of this extra-galactic system, but no new Galactic systems, raises the possibility that the predicted number of gamma-ray binaries in our Galaxy has been overestimated, and that HMXBs may be born containing relatively slowly rotating neutron stars.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 August 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 September 2016
Published date: October 2016
Organisations: Astronomy Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402926
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402926
ISSN: 1538-4357
PURE UUID: 5d423bcd-a0a3-4bcc-af39-343776eb9f0a
ORCID for Malcolm Coe: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0763-8547

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Date deposited: 18 Nov 2016 15:10
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 02:04

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Contributors

Author: R.H.D. Corbet
Author: L. Chomiuk
Author: Malcolm Coe ORCID iD
Author: J.B. Coley
Author: G. Dubus
Author: P.G. Edwards
Author: P. Martin
Author: V.A. McBride
Author: J. Stevens
Author: J. Strader
Author: L.J. Townsend
Author: A. Udalski

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