EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 506, Number 2, November I 2009
Page(s) L21 - L24
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200913151
Published online 15 September 2009
A&A 506, L21-L24 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200913151


Radio emission from the high-mass X-ray binary BP Crucis

First detection
M. Pestalozzi1, U. Torkelsson1, G. Hobbs2, and Á. R. López-Sánchez2

1  Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Göteborg, Sweden
    e-mail: [torkel;michele.pestalozzi]@physics.gu.se
2  Australia Telescope National Facility, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
    e-mail: [George.Hobbs;Angel.Lopez-Sanchez]@csiro.au

Received 20 August 2009 / Accepted 12 September 2009

Context. BP Cru is a well known high-mass X-ray binary consisting of a late B hypergiant (Wray 977) and a neutron star, also observed as the X-ray pulsar GX 301-2. No information about emission from BP Cru in bands other than X-rays and optical has been reported. A massive X-ray binaries containing black holes can produce radio emission from a jet.
Aims. To assess the presence of a radio jet, we searched for radio emission from BP Cru using the Australia Compact Array Telescope as part of a survey for radio emission from Be/X-ray transients.
Methods. We probed the 41.5 d orbit of BP Cru with the Australia Telescope Compact Array, close to both periastron and apastron.
Results. BP Cru was clearly detected in our data on 4, possibly 6, of 12 occasions at 4.8 and 8.6 GHz. Our data suggest that the spectral index of the radio emission is modulated either by the X-ray flux or the orbital phase of the system.
Conclusions. We propose that the radio emission of BP Cru probably originates in two components: a persistent component, related to the mass donor Wray 977, and a periodic component, connected to accretion onto the neutron star, possibly originating from a (weak and short lived) jet.

Key words: X-ray: binaries -- radio continuum: stars -- stars: individual: BP Cru  -- stars: binaries: close -- stars: supergiants

© ESO 2009