Optical spectroscopy of the microquasar GRS 1758−258: a possible intermediate mass system?
1 Departamento de Física, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Jaén, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, A3, 23071 Jaén, Spain
2 Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica y Minera, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Jaén, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, A3, 23071 Jaén, Spain
3 Grupo de Investigación FQM-322, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, A3, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Received: 1 September 2016
Accepted: 28 October 2016
Context. GRS 1758−258 is one of two prototypical microquasars towards the Galactic center direction discovered almost a quarter of a century ago. The system remains poorly studied in the optical domain due to its counterpart being a very faint and absorbed target in a crowded region of the sky.
Aims. Our aim is to investigate GRS 1758−258 in order to shed light on the nature of the stellar binary components. In particular, the main physical parameters of the donor star, such as the mass or the spectral type, are not yet well constrained.
Methods. GRS 1758−258 has remained so far elusive to optical spectroscopy owing to its observational difficulties. Here, we use this traditional tool of stellar astronomy at low spectral resolution with a 10 m class telescope and a long slit spectrograph.
Results. An improved spectrum is obtained as compared to previous work. The quality of the data does not allow the detection of emission or absorption features but, nevertheless, we manage to partially achieve our aims comparing the de-reddened continuum with the spectral energy distribution expected from an irradiated disc model and different donor star templates.
Conclusions. We tentatively propose that GRS 1758−258 does not host a giant star companion. Instead, a main sequence star with mid-A spectral type appears to better agree with our data. The main impacts of this finding are the possibility that we are dealing with an intermediate mass system and, in this case, the prediction of an orbital period significantly shorter than previously proposed.
Key words: stars: individual: GRS 1758-258 / X-rays: binaries / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2016