Letter | Published:

A new AM Her-like X-ray source

Nature volume 301, pages 318321 (27 January 1983) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Among low luminosity galactic X-ray sources, AM Herculis-type binaries form a distinct class. The main characteristics of this group of binaries are: orbital periods of the order of a few hours, the presence of emission lines of H I, He I, He II, C III and N III, variable linear and circular polarization of the optical radiation, and emission of a strong and variable soft X-ray flux. To date six such binaries have been detected. Four of these— AM Her1,2, AN Ursae Majoris3,4, 2A0311–2275,6 and VV Puppis7,8—have been known for some time, while E1405–4519 and a new serendipitous source near NGC360710 were detected only recently from the Einstein satellite observations. It is generally believed that these binaries consist of a magnetic white dwarf primary star and a red dwarf companion star11. The X-ray emission then arises due to accretion of matter from the red dwarf secondary onto the poles of the magnetic white dwarf12. We now report the discovery of a new X-ray source and its optical identification with a binary which has the necessary X-ray and optical characteristics to qualify it as a new member of the AM Her class of objects.

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Affiliations

  1. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Colaba, Bombay, India

    • P. C. Agrawal
    •  & A. R. Rao
  2. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

    • G. R. Riegler

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https://doi.org/10.1038/301318a0

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