IGR J18483-0311: an accreting X-ray pulsar observed by INTEGRAL
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Highfield, SO17 1BJ, UK e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF/IASF Roma, via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
3 INAF/IASF Bologna, via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Accepted: 10 February 2007
Context.IGR J18483-0311 is a poorly known transient hard X-ray source discovered by INTEGRAL during observations of the Galactic Center region performed between 23–28 April 2003.
Aims.To detect new outbursts from IGR J18483-0311 using INTEGRAL and archival Swift XRT observations and finally to characterize the nature of this source using the optical/near-infrared (NIR) information available through catalogue searches.
Methods.We performed an analysis of light curves and spectra of INTEGRAL and archival Swift XRT data as well as of optical/NIR catalogues.
Results.We report on 5 newly discovered outbursts from IGR J18483-0311 detected by INTEGRAL. For two of them it was possible to constrain a duration of the order of a few days. The strongest outburst reached a peak flux of ~120 mCrab (20–100 keV); its broad band JEM–X/ISGRI spectrum (3–50 keV) is best fitted by an absorbed cutoff power law with , cutoff energy of keV and cm-2. Timing analysis of INTEGRAL data allowed us to identify periodicities of 18.52 days and 21.0526 seconds which are likely the orbital period of the system and the spin period of the X-ray pulsar respectively. Swift XRT observations of IGR J18483-0311 provided a very accurate source position which strongly indicates a highly reddened star in the USNO–B1.0 and 2MASS catalogues as its possible optical/NIR counterpart.
Conclusions.The X-ray spectral shape, the periods of 18.52 days and 21.0526 s, the high intrinsic absorption, the location in the direction of the Scutum spiral arm and the highly reddened optical object as possible counterpart, all favour the hypothesis that IGR J18483-0311 is a HMXB with a neutron star as compact companion. The system is most likely a Be X-ray binary, but a Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient nature can not be entirely excluded.
Key words: gamma rays: observations / X-rays: binaries / X-rays: bursts / X-rays: general / X-rays: individuals: IGR J18483-0311 / X-rays: binaries
© ESO, 2007