EDP Sciences
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Volume 383, Number 2, February IV 2002
Page(s) 568 - 573
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011745

A&A 383, 568-573 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011745

The Galactic Centre source IRS 13E: A post-LBV Wolf-Rayet colliding wind binary?

R. F. Coker1, J. M. Pittard1 and J. H. Kastner2

1  Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2  Chester F. Carlson Centre for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA

(Received 19 October 2001 / Accepted 6 December 2001)

IRS 13E is an infrared, mm and X-ray source in the Galactic Centre. We present the first Chandra X-ray spectrum for IRS 13E and show that it is consistent with a luminous and highly absorbed X-ray binary system. Since the X-ray luminosity is too large for a solitary star, our interpretation is that of an early-type long-period binary with strong colliding winds emission. This naturally explains the observed X-ray spectrum and count rate as well as its lack of significant short term variability. Due to the short lifetime of any nebula 0.2 pc from the putative central super-massive black-hole, we argue that the primary of IRS 13E has exited the LBV phase in the last few thousand years.

Key words: X-rays: stars -- stars: Wolf-Rayet -- stars: individual: IRS 13E

Offprint request: R. F. Coker, robc@ast.leeds.ac.uk

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