EDP Sciences
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Volume 419, Number 3, June I 2004
Page(s) 1045 - 1056
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040099

A&A 419, 1045-1056 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20040099

A possible new dipping X-ray source in the field of M 31

V. Mangano, G. L. Israel and L. Stella

Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone (Roma), Italy
(Received 5 August 2003 / Accepted 14 January 2004)

We report the discovery of the new dipping X-ray source, XMMU J004308.6+411247, in M 31, during a systematic search for periodicities in XMM-Newton archival observations. During the 2002 January 6 observation, the dips recur with a 107 min period and the source count rate is consistent with zero at the dip minimum. Dips with the same modulation and period are also observed during the XMM-Newton observations carried out on 2000 June 25, 2001 June 29 and the Chandra observation of 2001 October 5. The dips of XMMU J004308.6+411247 show no evidence of energy dependence. The average X-ray flux of XMMU J004308.6+411247 is nearly constant across different observations ( ${\sim} 10^{37}$ erg s -1 for an assumed M 31 distance of 780 kpc in the 0.3-10 keV band); the spectrum is well fitted by an absorbed power law with a photon index $\sim $0.8 or an absorbed Comptonization model. The photo-electric absorption is consistent with the Galactic value in the source direction. If XMMU J004308.6+411247 is located in M 31 its properties are consistent with those of dipping low mass X-ray binaries in the Galaxy. Present observations do not make it possible to distinguish between dips and eclipses.

The possibility that XMMU J004308.6+411247 is a foreground X-ray source cannot be ruled out at present; in this case the source might be a magnetic cataclysmic variable.

Key words: galaxies: individual: M 31 -- X rays: stars -- binaries: close

Offprint request: V. Mangano, mangano@mporzio.astro.it

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