Volume 522, November 2010
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||09 November 2010|
The optical counterpart to IGR J06074+2205: a Be/X-ray binary showing disc loss and V/R variability
IESL, Foundation for Reseach and Technology-Hellas,
2 Physics Department, University of Crete, 71003 Heraklion, Greece
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 14 April 2010
Accepted: 24 June 2010
Context. Current X-ray missions are regularly discovering new X/γ-ray sources, so identifying the counterparts of these high-energy sources at other wavelengths is important for determining their nature. In particular, optical observations are crucial in the study of X-ray binary populations in our Galaxy.
Aims. The main goal of this work is to determine the properties of the optical counterpart to the INTEGRAL source IGR J06074+2205 and study its long-term optical variability. Although its nature as a high-mass X-ray binary has been suggested, little is known about its physical parameters.
Methods. We have been monitoring IGR J06074+2205 since 2006 in the optical band. We present optical photometric BVRI and spectroscopic observations covering the wavelength band 4000 − 7000 Å. The blue spectra allow us to determine the spectral type and luminosity class of the optical companion and the red spectra, together with the photometric magnitudes, were used to derive the colour excess E(B − V) and estimate the distance.
Results. We have carried out the first detailed optical study of the massive component in the high-mass X-ray binary IGR J06074+2205. We find that the optical counterpart to IGR J06074+2205 is a V = 12.3 B0.5Ve star located at a distance of ~4.5 kpc. Monitoring of the Hα line reveals V / R variability and an overall decline in its equivalent width. The Hα line has been seen to revert from an emission to an absorption profile. We attribute this variability to global changes in the structure of the Be star’s circumstellar disc that eventually led to the complete loss of the disc. The density perturbation that gives rise to the V / R variability vanishes when the disc becomes too small.
Key words: supernovae: individual: IGR J06074+2205 / stars: emission-line, Be / stars: neutron / X-rays: binaries
© ESO, 2010
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