Volume 506, Number 2, November I 2009
|Page(s)||857 - 863|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||27 August 2009|
Monitoring campaign of 1RXS J171824.2–402934, the low-mass X-ray binary with the lowest mass accretion rate
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, the Netherlands e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3 Department of Astrophysics, Radboud University, Toernooiveld 1, 6525 ED Nijmegen, the Netherlands
4 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
5 Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, Mail Code 661, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
6 MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Accepted: 23 August 2009
An X-ray monitoring campaign with Chandra and Swift confirms that 1RXS J171824.2–402934 is accreting at the lowest rate among the known persistently accreting low-mass X-ray binaries. A thermonuclear X-ray burst was detected with the all-sky monitor on RXTE. This is only the second such burst seen in 1RXS J171824.2–402934 in more than 20 Ms of observations done over 19 years. The low burst recurrence rate is in line with the low accretion rate. The persistent nature and low accretion rate can be reconciled within accretion disk theory if the binary system is ultracompact. An unprecedentedly short orbital period of less than ≈7 min would be implied. An ultracompact nature, together with the properties of the type I X-ray burst, suggests, in turn, that helium-rich material is accreted. Optical follow-up of the Chandra error region does not reveal an unambiguous counterpart.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / stars: neutron / X-rays: binaries / X-rays: individuals: 1RXS J171824.2-402934 / X-rays: individuals: RX J1718.4-4029
© ESO, 2009
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