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

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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSALT Science Conference 2015
EditorsDavid Buckley, Anja Schroeder
Place of PublicationTrieste, Italy
PublisherScuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA)
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


ConferenceSALT Science Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleSSC2015
Country/TerritorySouth Africa

Bibliographical note

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