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A rare outburst from the stealthy BeXRB system Swift J0549.7-6812

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posted on 2023-09-22, 13:31 authored by MJ Coe, JA Kennea, IM Monageng, DAH Buckley, A Udalski, PA Evans
Swift J0549.7 -6812 is a Be/X-ray binary system (BeXRB) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) exhibiting an ~6 s pulse period. Like many such systems, the variable X-ray emission is believed to be driven by the underlying behaviour of the mass donor Be star. In this paper, we report on X-ray observations of the brightest known outburst from this system, which reached a luminosity of ~8 × 1037 erg s-1. These observations are supported by contemporaneous optical photometric observations, the first reported optical spectrum, as well as several years of historical data from Optical Gravitational Lens Explorer (OGLE) and Gaia . The latter strongly suggest a binary period of 46.1 d. All the observational data indicate that Swift J0549.7 -6812 is a system that spends the vast majority of its time in X-ray quiescence, or even switched off completely. This suggests that occasional observations may easily miss it, and many similar systems, and thereby underestimate the massive star evolution numbers for the LMC.

History

Author affiliation

School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Volume

524

Issue

3

Pagination

3263 - 3269

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0035-8711

eissn

1365-2966

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2023-09-22

Language

en

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