EDP Sciences
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Volume 432, Number 1, March II 2005
Page(s) 235 - 247
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041854

A&A 432, 235-247 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041854

Unveiling the nature of the high energy source IGR J19140+0951

J. Rodriguez1, 2, C. Cabanac3, D. C. Hannikainen4, V. Beckmann5, 6, S. E. Shaw7, 2 and J. Schultz4

1  Centre d'Etudes de Saclay, DAPNIA/Service d'Astrophysique (CNRS FRE 2591), Bât. 709, Orme des Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex 91191, France
    e-mail: jrodriguez@cea.fr
2  INTEGRAL Science Data Centre, Chemin d'Écogia 16, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, BP 53X, 38041 Grenoble, France
4  Observatory, PO Box 14, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
5  NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 661, Building 2 Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
6  Joint Center for Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, MD 21250, USA
7  School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

(Received 18 August 2004 / Accepted 21 December 2004)

We report on high energy observations of IGR J19140+0951 performed with RXTE on three occasions in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and INTEGRAL during a very well sampled and unprecedented high energy coverage of this source from early-March to mid-May 2003. Our analysis shows that IGR J19140+0951 spends most of its time in a very low luminosity state, probably corresponding to the state observed with RXTE, and characterised by thermal Comptonisation. In some occasions we observe variations of the luminosity by a factor of about 10 during which the spectrum can show evidence for a thermal component, besides thermal Comptonisation by a hotter plasma than during the low luminosity state. The spectral parameters obtained from the spectral fits to the INTEGRAL and RXTE data strongly suggest that IGR J19140+0951 hosts a neutron star rather than a black hole. Very importantly, we observe variations of the absorption column density (with a value as high as ~ 1023 cm -2). Our spectral analysis also reveals a bright iron line detected with both RXTE/PCA and INTEGRAL/JEM-X, at different levels of luminosity. We discuss these results and the behaviour of IGR J19140+0951, and show, by comparison with other well known systems (Vela X-1, GX 301-2, 4U 2206+54), that IGR J19140+0951 is most probably a High Mass X-ray Binary.

Key words: X-rays: binaries -- X-rays: individual: IGR J19140+0951 -- accretion, accretion disks -- gamma-rays: observations

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