Observing Galactic Be/X-ray binaries with the SALT high-resolution spectrograph

L. J. Townsend, V. A. McBride, S. M. Crawford, C. Schwab

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The measurement of the orbital parameters of Be/X-ray binaries is central to our understanding of their formation and observed multi-wavelength variability. The typically long and moderately eccentric orbits make unlocking this information from X-ray pulse timing difficult, as the observer must wait for a large X-ray outburst lasting most of a binary orbit to fit the necessary models. This has been done successfully for shorter period systems (Porb . 30 d), but is rarely an option in longer period systems. In this paper, we describe recent efforts to overcome this observational bias by using optical radial velocity measurements of the companion stars of longer period Be/Xray binaries to calculate their orbital parameters. These results will significantly increase the number of long period systems with binary solutions and may help in determining the binary formation channel taken by these systems.

LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationSALT Science Conference 2015
EditorsDavid Buckley, Anja Schroeder
Place of PublicationTrieste, Italy
PublisherScuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA)
Pages1-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventSALT Science Conference 2015 - Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study, South Africa
Duration: 1 Jun 20155 Jun 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of Science
ISSN (Print)1824-8039

Conference

ConferenceSALT Science Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleSSC2015
CountrySouth Africa
Period1/06/155/06/15

Fingerprint

spectrographs
high resolution
orbitals
companion stars
eccentric orbits
x rays
velocity measurement
radial velocity
time measurement
orbits
pulses
wavelengths

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Cite this

Townsend, L. J., McBride, V. A., Crawford, S. M., & Schwab, C. (2015). Observing Galactic Be/X-ray binaries with the SALT high-resolution spectrograph. In D. Buckley, & A. Schroeder (Eds.), SALT Science Conference 2015 (pp. 1-6). (Proceedings of Science). Trieste, Italy: Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA).
Townsend, L. J. ; McBride, V. A. ; Crawford, S. M. ; Schwab, C. / Observing Galactic Be/X-ray binaries with the SALT high-resolution spectrograph. SALT Science Conference 2015. editor / David Buckley ; Anja Schroeder. Trieste, Italy : Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), 2015. pp. 1-6 (Proceedings of Science).
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abstract = "The measurement of the orbital parameters of Be/X-ray binaries is central to our understanding of their formation and observed multi-wavelength variability. The typically long and moderately eccentric orbits make unlocking this information from X-ray pulse timing difficult, as the observer must wait for a large X-ray outburst lasting most of a binary orbit to fit the necessary models. This has been done successfully for shorter period systems (Porb . 30 d), but is rarely an option in longer period systems. In this paper, we describe recent efforts to overcome this observational bias by using optical radial velocity measurements of the companion stars of longer period Be/Xray binaries to calculate their orbital parameters. These results will significantly increase the number of long period systems with binary solutions and may help in determining the binary formation channel taken by these systems.",
author = "Townsend, {L. J.} and McBride, {V. A.} and Crawford, {S. M.} and C. Schwab",
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Townsend, LJ, McBride, VA, Crawford, SM & Schwab, C 2015, Observing Galactic Be/X-ray binaries with the SALT high-resolution spectrograph. in D Buckley & A Schroeder (eds), SALT Science Conference 2015. Proceedings of Science, Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), Trieste, Italy, pp. 1-6, SALT Science Conference 2015, South Africa, 1/06/15.

Observing Galactic Be/X-ray binaries with the SALT high-resolution spectrograph. / Townsend, L. J.; McBride, V. A.; Crawford, S. M.; Schwab, C.

SALT Science Conference 2015. ed. / David Buckley; Anja Schroeder. Trieste, Italy : Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), 2015. p. 1-6 (Proceedings of Science).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionResearchpeer-review

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AB - The measurement of the orbital parameters of Be/X-ray binaries is central to our understanding of their formation and observed multi-wavelength variability. The typically long and moderately eccentric orbits make unlocking this information from X-ray pulse timing difficult, as the observer must wait for a large X-ray outburst lasting most of a binary orbit to fit the necessary models. This has been done successfully for shorter period systems (Porb . 30 d), but is rarely an option in longer period systems. In this paper, we describe recent efforts to overcome this observational bias by using optical radial velocity measurements of the companion stars of longer period Be/Xray binaries to calculate their orbital parameters. These results will significantly increase the number of long period systems with binary solutions and may help in determining the binary formation channel taken by these systems.

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Townsend LJ, McBride VA, Crawford SM, Schwab C. Observing Galactic Be/X-ray binaries with the SALT high-resolution spectrograph. In Buckley D, Schroeder A, editors, SALT Science Conference 2015. Trieste, Italy: Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA). 2015. p. 1-6. (Proceedings of Science).