Volume 632, December 2019
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||22 November 2019|
Surprises in the simultaneous X-ray and optical monitoring of π Aquarii★
Groupe d’Astrophysique des Hautes Energies, STAR, Université de Liège, Quartier Agora (B5c, Institut d’Astrophysique et de Géophysique),
Allée du 6 Août 19c, 4000 Sart Tilman, Liège, Belgium
2 National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Accepted: 17 October 2019
To help constrain the origin of the peculiar X-ray emission of γ Cas stars, we conducted a simultaneous optical and X-ray monitoring of π Aqr in 2018. At that time, the star appeared optically bright and active, with a very strong Hα emission. Our monitoring covers three 84 d orbital cycles, allowing us to probe phase-locked variations as well as longer-term changes. In the new optical data, the radial velocity variations seem to span a smaller range than previously reported, which might indicate possible biases. The X-ray emission is variable, but without any obvious correlation with orbital phase or Hα line strength. Furthermore, the average X-ray flux and the relative range of flux variations are similar to those recorded in previous data, although the latter data were taken when the star was less bright and its disk had nearly entirely disappeared. Only the local absorption component in the X-ray spectrum appears to have strengthened in the new data. This absence of large changes in X-ray properties despite dramatic disk changes appears at odds with previous observations of other γ Cas stars. It also constrains scenarios proposed to explain the γ Cas phenomenon.
Key words: stars: early-type / stars: emission-line, Be / stars: massive / X-rays: stars / supernovae: general / stars: individual: π Aqr
Based on spectra obtained with the TIGRE telescope, located at La Luz observatory, Mexico (TIGRE is a collaboration of the Hamburger Sternwarte, the Universities of Hamburg, Guanajuato, and Liège), as well as data collected with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.
© ESO 2019
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