Letter to the Editor
A 33 hour period for the Wolf-Rayet/black hole X-ray binary candidate NGC 300 X-1
XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, ESAC, ESA, PO Box 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3 Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Rd, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
4 Dr. Remeis-Observatory, Astronomisches Institut der FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
5 Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 48 Pyatnitskaya Str., 119017 Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 10 March 2007
Context.NGC 300 X-1 is the second extragalactic candidate, after IC 10 X-1, in the rare class of Wolf-Rayet/compact object X-ray binary systems exemplified in the Galaxy by Cyg X-3. From a theoretical point of view, accretion onto a black hole in a detached system is possible for large orbital periods only if the mass of the relativistic object is high or the velocity of the accreted wind is low.
Aims.We analysed a 2 week SWIFT XRT light curve of NGC 300 X-1 and searched for periodicities.
Methods.Period searches were made using Lomb-Scargle periodogram analysis. We evaluated the confidence level using Monte Carlo simulations.
Results.A period of 32.8 ± 0.4 h (3σ error) was found for NGC 300 X-1 with a confidence level >99%. Furthermore, we confirm the high irregular variability during the high flux level, as already observed in the observations of the source. A folded light curve is shown, with a profile that is in agreement with SWIFT. The mean absorbed X-ray luminosity in the SWIFT observations was 1.51038 erg s-1, close to the value derived from the data.
Conclusions.While Cyg X-3 has a short period of 4.8 h, the period of NGC 300 X-1 is very close to that of IC 10 X-1 (34.8 ± 0.9 h). These are likely orbital periods. Possibility of formation of accretion disk for such high orbital periods strongly depends on the terminal velocity of the Wolf-Rayet star wind and black-hole mass. While low masses are possible for wind velocities ≲1000 km s-1, these increase to several tens of solar masses for velocities >1600 km s-1 and no accretion disk may form for terminal velocities larger than 1900 km s-1.
Key words: X-rays: individuals: NGC 300 X-1 / X-rays: binaries / stars: Wolf-Rayet
© ESO, 2007