EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 485, Number 3, July III 2008
Page(s) 773 - 775
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200809516
Published online 01 April 2008

A&A 485, 773-775 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200809516

Research Note

Spectroscopic observations of the quiescent neutron star system 4U 2129+47 (=V1727 Cygni)

M. S. Bothwell1, 2, M. A. P. Torres3, M. R. Garcia3, and P. A. Charles4

1  Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
    e-mail: bothwell@ast.cam.ac.uk
2  School of Physics and Astronomy, Southampton University, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
3  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4  South African Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 9, Observatory, 7935, South Africa

Received 5 February 2008 / Accepted 20 March 2008

Context. In quiescence, the proposed optical counterpart to the neutron star, low mass X-ray binary 4U 2129+47 (V1727 Cyg) shows a spectrum consistent with a late F-type subgiant and no radial velocity variations on the 5.24 h binary period. This could imply that V1727 Cyg is a chance line of sight interloper. Radial velocity measurements, however, showed evidence for a longer term ~40 km s-1 shift, which suggested that 4U 2129+47 could be a hierarchical triple system, with the F-type star in a wide orbit about the inner low mass X-ray binary.
Aims. In order to confirm the long-term radial velocity shift reported in Garcia et al. (1989, ApJ, 341, L75) and its amplitude, we obtained spectroscopic observations of V1727 Cyg during 1996 and 1998 with the William Herschel Telescope using the ISIS spectrograph.
Methods. We determined radial velocities from the ISIS spectra by means of the cross-correlation technique with a template spectrum.
Results. The resulting radial velocities show variations with a maximum amplitude of ~40 km s-1, confirming previous results and supporting the F-type star as being the third body in a hierarchical triple system. The odds that this star could be an interloper are ~3 $\times$ 10-6.

Key words: X-rays: binaries -- techniques: radial velocities -- stars: individual: V1727 Cygni

© ESO 2008