Volume 385, Number 2, April II 2002
|Page(s)||517 - 532|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||15 April 2002|
The population of massive X-ray binaries*
I. The Large Magellanic Cloud
Observatoire de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l'Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France
2 Physics and Astronomy Department, Southampton University, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Corresponding author: I. Negueruela, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 21 January 2002
We present high resolution blue spectroscopy of an almost complete sample of optical counterparts to massive X-ray binaries in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and derive their spectral classification. We find an spectral type B0II for the optical counterpart to RX J0532.5-6551, confirming it as the first wind-fed massive X-ray binary in the LMC. We also confirm the Be nature of the proposed counterpart to RX J0535.0-6700. The proposed optical counterpart to RX J0531.5-6518 is a B2V star with signs of emission in the Balmer lines. In total, we give accurate spectral types for 14 counterparts. We find that the overall observed population of massive X-ray binaries in the LMC has a distribution not very different from the observed Galactic population and we discuss different selection effects affecting our knowledge of this population. The spectral distribution of the binary population is also rather similar to the Galactic one. This distribution implies that Be/X-ray binaries must have preferentially formed from moderately massive binaries undergoing semi-conservative evolution. The observation of several Be/X-ray binaries with large eccentricities implies then the existence of supernova kicks.
Key words: stars: binaries: close / X-rays: binaries / stars: early-type / stars: emission line, Be / galaxies: Magellanic Clouds
© ESO, 2002
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