New measurements of orbital period change in Cygnus X-3
Dept. of Physics, Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal 795003 Manipur, India
2 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400005, India
Corresponding author: S. Naik, email@example.com
Accepted: 6 June 2002
The nonlinear nature of the binary ephemeris of Cygnus X-3 indicates either a change in the orbital period or an apsidal motion of the orbit. We have made extended observations of Cygnus X-3 with the Pointed Proportional Counters (PPCs) of the Indian Astronomy Experiment (IXAE) during 1999 July 3-13 and October 11-14. Using the data from these observations and the archival data from ROSAT, ASCA, BeppoSAX and RXTE, we have extended the database for this source. Adding these new arrival time measurements to the published results, we make a comparison between the various possibilities, (a) orbital decay due to mass loss from the system, (b) mass transfer between the stars, and (c) apsidal motion of the orbit due to gravitational interaction between the two components. The orbital decay due to mass loss from the companion star seems to be the most probable scenario.
Key words: stars: binaries: close / stars: individual: Cygnus X-3 / stars: Wolf-Rayet / s: stars
© ESO, 2002