EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 497, Number 2, April II 2009
Page(s) 457 - 461
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200811407
Published online 05 March 2009
A&A 497, 457-461 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200811407

Candidate counterparts to the soft gamma-ray flare in the direction of LS I +61 303

A. J. Muñoz-Arjonilla1, 2, J. Martí1, 2, J. A. Combi1, 3, P. Luque-Escamilla4, 2, J. R. Sánchez-Sutil2, V. Zabalza5, and J. M. Paredes5

1  Departamento de Física, EPS, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, Edif. A3, 23071 Jaén, Spain
    e-mail: [ajmunoz;jmarti;jcombi]@ujaen.es
2  Grupo de Investigación FQM-322, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, Edif. A3, 23071 Jaén, Spain
    e-mail: jrssutil@ujaen.es
3  Fac. de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Paseo del Bosque, B1900FWA La Plata, Argentina
4  Dpto. de Ing. Mecánica y Minera, EPS, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, Edif. A3, 23071 Jaén, Spain
    e-mail: peter@ujaen.es
5  Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia and Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICC), Universitat de Barcelona (UB/IEEC), Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
    e-mail: vzabalza@am.ub.es; jmparedes@ub.edu

Received 24 November 2008 / Accepted 21 January 2009

Context. A short duration burst reminiscent of a soft gamma-ray repeater/anomalous X-ray pulsar behaviour was detected in the direction of LS I +61 303 by the Swift satellite. While the association with this well known gamma-ray binary is likely, a different origin cannot be excluded.
Aims. We explore the error box of this unexpected flaring event and establish the radio, near-infrared and X-ray sources in our search for any peculiar alternative counterpart.
Methods. We carried out a combined analysis of archive Very Large Array radio data of LS I +61 303 sensitive to both compact and extended emission. We also reanalysed previous near infrared observations with the 3.5 m telescope of the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán and X-ray observations with the Chandra satellite.
Results. Our deep radio maps of the LS I +61 303 environment represent a significant advancement on previous work and 16 compact radio sources in the LS I +61 303 vicinity are detected. For some detections, we also identify near infrared and X-ray counterparts. Extended emission features in the field are also detected and confirmed. The possible connection of some of these sources with the observed flaring event is considered. Based on these data, we are unable to claim a clear association between the Swift-BAT flare and any of the sources reported here. However, this study represents the most sophisticated attempt to determine possible alternative counterparts other than LS I +61 303.

Key words: X-ray: stars -- radio continuum: stars -- infrared: general -- X-rays: binaries -- gamma rays: observations

© ESO 2009