Volume 394, Number 1, October IV 2002
|Page(s)||205 - 211|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||04 October 2002|
Strongly absorbed quiescent X-ray emission from the X-ray transient XTE J0421+56 (CI Cam) observed with XMM-Newton
Astrophysics Mission Division, Research and Scientific Support Department of ESA, ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
2 Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements, CNRS/UPS, 9 Av. du Colonel Roche, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
3 Istituto Tecnologie e Studio Radiazioni Extraterrestri, CNR, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 XMM-Newton Science Operation Center, ESA, Vilspa, Apartado 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
Corresponding author: L. Boirin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 July 2002
We have observed the X-ray transient XTE J0421+56 in quiescence with XMM-Newton. The observed spectrum is highly unusual being dominated by an emission feature at ~6.5 keV. The spectrum can be fit using a partially covered power-law and Gaussian line model, in which the emission is almost completely covered (covering fraction of ) by neutral material and is strongly absorbed with an of () 1023 atom cm-2. This absorption is local and not interstellar. The Gaussian has a centroid energy of keV, a width keV and an equivalent width of eV. It can be interpreted as fluorescent emission line from iron. Using this model and assuming XTE J0421+56 is at a distance of 5 kpc, its 0.5–10 keV luminosity is erg s-1. The Optical Monitor onboard XMM-Newton indicates a V magnitude of . The spectra of X-ray transients in quiescence are normally modeled using advection dominated accretion flows, power-laws, or by the thermal emission from a neutron star surface. The strongly locally absorbed X-ray emission from XTE J0421+56 is therefore highly unusual and could result from the compact object being embedded within a dense circumstellar wind emitted from the supergiant B[e] companion star. The uncovered and unabsorbed component observed below 5 keV could be due either to X-ray emission from the supergiant B[e] star itself, or to the scattering of high-energy X-ray photons in a wind or ionized corona, such as observed in some low-mass X-ray binary systems.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / stars: individual: XTE J0421+56 / X-rays: general
© ESO, 2002
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