A&A 486, 911-917 (2008)
Unveiling the nature of six HMXBs through IR spectroscopyE. Nespoli1, J. Fabregat1, and R. E. Mennickent2
1 Observatorio Astronómico de la Universidad de Valencia, Edifici Instituts d'Investigació. Polìgon La Coma, Paterna, Valencia, Spain
2 Departamento de Física, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
Received 25 February 2008 / Accepted 26 April 2008
Context. The International Gamma-Ray Astrophyiscs Laboratory (INTEGRAL) is discovering a large number of new hard X-ray sources, many of them being HMXBs. The identification and spectral characterization of their optical/infrared counterparts is a necessary step to undertake detailed study of these systems. In particular, the determination of the spectral type is crucial in the case of the new class of Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients (SFXTs), which show X-ray properties common to other objects.
Aims. Our goal is to perform spectral analysis and classification of proposed counterparts to HMXBs in order to characterize the system they belong to.
Methods. We used the ESO/NTT SofI spectrograph to observe proposed IR counterparts to HMXBs, obtaining medium resolution spectra (R = 1320) with a 100. We classified them through comparison with published atlases.
Results. We were able to spectrally classify the six sources. This allowed us to ascribe one of them to the new class of SFXTs and confirm the membership of two sources to this class. We confirmed the spectral classification, derived from optical spectroscopy, of a known system, 4U 1907-09, showing for the first time its infrared spectrum. The spectral classification was also used to estimate the distance of the sources. We compared the extinction as derived from X-ray data with effective interstellar extinction obtained from our data, discussing the absorption component due to the circumstellar environment, which we observed in four systems; in particular, intrinsic absorption seems to emerge as a typical feature of the entire class of SFXTs.
Key words: X-rays: binaries -- stars: supergiants -- accretion, accretion disks -- infrared: stars
© ESO 2008