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de Martino D.,National institute for astrophysics | Casares J.,Institute of Astrophysics of Canarias | Mason E.,National institute for astrophysics | Buckley D.A.H.,Southern African Large Telescope Foundation | And 6 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

The peculiar low-mass X-ray binary XSS J12270-4859, associated with the Fermi/LAT source 2FGL J1227.7-4853, was in an X-ray, gamma-ray and optical low-luminosity persistent state for about a decade until the end of 2012, when it entered into the dimmest state ever observed. The nature of the compact object has been controversial until the detection of a 1.69 ms radio pulsar early 2014.We present optical spectroscopy and optical/near-IR photometry during the previous brighter and in the recent faint states. We determine the first spectroscopic orbital ephemeris and an accurate orbital period of 6.912 46(5) h. We infer a mid G-type donor star and a distance d = 1.8-2.0 kpc. The donor spectral type changes from G5 V to F5 V between inferior and superior conjunctions, a signature of strong irradiation effects. We infer a binary inclination 45° ≲i≲65° and a highly undermassive donor,M2 0.06-0.12M{N-ary circled dot operator} , for a neutron star mass in the range 1.4-3 M{N-ary circled dot operator} . Thus, this binary joins as the seventh member the group of 'redbacks'. In the high state, the emission lines reveal the presence of an accretion disc. They tend to vanish at the donor star superior conjunction, where also flares are preferentially observed together with the occurrence of random dips. This behaviour could be related to the propeller mechanism of the neutron star recently proposed to be acting in this system during the high state. In the low state, the emission lines are absent in all orbital phases indicating that accretion has completely switched-off and that XSS J12270-4859 has transited from an accretion-powered to a rotation-powered phase. Source

Kniazev A.Y.,South African Astronomical Observatory | Vaisanen P.,South African Astronomical Observatory | Muzic K.,European Southern Observatory | Mehner A.,European Southern Observatory | And 23 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

WISE J104915.57-531906.1 is a L/T brown dwarf binary located 2 pc from the Sun. The pair contains the closest known brown dwarfs and is the third closest known system, stellar or sub-stellar. We report comprehensive follow-up observations of this newly uncovered system. We have determined the spectral types of both components (L8 ± 1, for the primary, agreeing with the discovery paper; T1.5 ± 2 for the secondary, which was lacking spectroscopic type determination in the discovery paper) and, for the first time, their radial velocities (V rad 23.1, 19.5 km s-1) using optical spectra obtained at the Southern African Large Telescope and other facilities located at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). The relative radial velocity of the two components is smaller than the range of orbital velocities for theoretically predicted masses, implying that they form a gravitationally bound system. We report resolved near-infrared JHKS photometry from the Infrared Survey Facility telescope at the SAAO which yields colors consistent with the spectroscopically derived spectral types. The available kinematic and photometric information excludes the possibility that the object belongs to any of the known nearby young moving groups or associations. Simultaneous optical polarimetry observations taken at the SAAO 1.9 m give a non-detection with an upper limit of 0.07%. For the given spectral types and absolute magnitudes, 1 Gyr theoretical models predict masses of 0.04-0.05 M for the primary, and 0.03-0.05 M for the secondary. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. Source

Ulusoy C.,University of Johannesburg | Ulusoy C.,Izmir Institute of Technology | Gulmez T.,University of Johannesburg | Stateva I.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | And 18 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

We report on a multisite photometric campaign on the high-amplitude delta Scuti star V2367 Cyg in order to determine the pulsation modes. We also used high-dispersion spectroscopy to estimate the stellar parameters and projected rotational velocity. Time series multicolour photometry was obtained during a 98-d interval from five different sites. These data were used together with model atmospheres and non-adiabatic pulsation models to identify the spherical harmonic degree of the three independent frequencies of highest amplitude as well as the first two harmonics of the dominant mode. This was accomplished by matching the observed relative light amplitudes and phases in different wavebands with those computed by the models. In general, our results support the assumed mode identifications in a previous analysis of Kepler data. © 2012 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Source

Gvaramadze V.V.,Moscow State University | Kniazev A.Y.,University of Cape Town | Miroshnichenko A.S.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Berdnikov L.N.,Moscow State University | And 27 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

We report the discovery of two new Galactic candidate luminous blue variable (LBV) stars via detection of circular shells (typical of confirmed and candidate LBVs) and follow-up spectroscopy of their central stars. The shells were detected at 22μm in the archival data of the Mid-Infrared All Sky Survey carried out with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Follow-up optical spectroscopy of the central stars of the shells conducted with the renewed Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) showed that their spectra are very similar to those of the well-known LBVs P Cygni and AG Car, and the recently discovered candidate LBV MN112, which implies the LBV classification for these stars as well. The LBV classification of both stars is supported by detection of their significant photometric variability: one of them brightened in the R and I bands by 0.68 ± 0.10 and 0.61 ± 0.04mag, respectively, during the last 13-18 years, while the second one (known as Hen 3-1383) varies its B,V,R,I and K s brightnesses by ≃0.5-0.9mag on time-scales from 10d to decades. We also found significant changes in the spectrum of Hen 3-1383 on a time-scale of ≃3 months, which provides additional support for the LBV classification of this star. Further spectrophotometric monitoring of both stars is required to firmly prove their LBV status. We discuss a connection between the location of massive stars in the field and their fast rotation, and suggest that the LBV activity of the newly discovered candidate LBVs might be directly related to their possible runaway status. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS. Source

Todt H.,University of Potsdam | Kniazev A.Y.,South African Astronomical Observatory | Kniazev A.Y.,Moscow State University | Gvaramadze V.V.,Moscow State University | And 18 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

A considerable fraction of the central stars of planetary nebulae (CSPNe) are hydrogendeficient. Almost all of these H-deficient central stars (CSs) display spectra with strong carbon and helium lines. Most of them exhibit emission-line spectra resembling those of massive WC stars. Therefore these stars are classed as CSPNe of spectral type [WC]. Recently, quantitative spectral analysis of two emission-line CSs, PB 8 and IC 4663, revealed that these stars do not belong to the [WC] class. Instead PB 8 has been classified as [WN/WC] type and IC 4663 as [WN] type. In this work we report the spectroscopic identification of another rare [WN] star, the CS of Abell 48. We performed a spectral analysis of Abell 48 with the Potsdam Wolf- Rayet (PoWR) models for expanding atmospheres. We find that the expanding atmosphere of Abell 48 is mainly composed of helium (85 per cent by mass), hydrogen (10 per cent) and nitrogen (5 per cent). The residual hydrogen and the enhanced nitrogen abundance make this object different from the other [WN] star IC 4663. We discuss the possible origin of this atmospheric composition. © The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Source

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