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Journal Article

The Swift Bulge Survey: optical and near-IR follow-up featuring a likely symbiotic X-ray binary and a focused wind CV


Rau,  A.
High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Shaw, A. W., Heinke, C. O., Maccarone, T. J., Sivakoff, G. R., Strader, J., Bahramian, A., et al. (2020). The Swift Bulge Survey: optical and near-IR follow-up featuring a likely symbiotic X-ray binary and a focused wind CV. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 494(4), 5081-5081. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa105.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-ED45-2
The nature of very faint X-ray transients (VFXTs) – transient X-ray sources that peak at luminosities LX≲1036ergs−1 – is poorly understood. The faint and often short-lived outbursts make characterizing VFXTs and their multiwavelength counterparts difficult. In 2017 April we initiated the Swift Bulge Survey, a shallow X-ray survey of ∼16 square degrees around the Galactic centre with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. The survey has been designed to detect new and known VFXTs, with follow-up programmes arranged to study their multiwavelength counterparts. Here we detail the optical and near-infrared follow-up of four sources detected in the first year of the Swift Bulge Survey. The known neutron star binary IGR J17445-2747 has a K4III donor, indicating a potential symbiotic X-ray binary nature and the first such source to show X-ray bursts. We also find one nearby M-dwarf (1SXPS J174215.0-291453) and one system without a clear near-IR counterpart (Swift J175233.9-290952). Finally, 3XMM J174417.2-293944 has a subgiant donor, an 8.7 d orbital period, and a likely white dwarf accretor; we argue that this is the first detection of a white dwarf accreting from a gravitationally focused wind. A key finding of our follow-up campaign is that binaries containing (sub)giant stars may make a substantial contribution to the VFXT population.