Discovery of a Rare Eclipsing Be/X-Ray Binary System, Swift J010902.6-723710 = SXP 182

Thomas M. Gaudin, Jamie A. Kennea, M. J. Coe, I. M. Monageng, Andrzej Udalski, L. J. Townsend, David A.H. Buckley, Phil A. Evans

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We report on the discovery of Swift J010902.6-723710, a rare eclipsing Be/X-ray Binary system by the Swift SMC Survey (S-CUBED). Swift J010902.6-723710 was discovered via weekly S-CUBED monitoring observations when it was observed to enter a state of X-ray outburst on 2023 October 10. X-ray emission was found to be modulated by a 182 s period. Optical spectroscopy is used to confirm the presence of a highly inclined circumstellar disk surrounding a B0-0.5Ve optical companion. Historical UV and IR photometry is then used to identify strong eclipse-like features reoccurring in both light curves with a 60.623 day period, which is adopted as the orbital period of the system. Eclipsing behavior is found to be the result of a large accretion disk surrounding the neutron star. Eclipses are produced when the disk passes in front of the OBe companion, blocking light from both the stellar surface and circumstellar disk. This is only the third Be/X-ray binary to have confirmed eclipses. We note that this rare behavior provides an important opportunity to constrain the physical parameters of a Be/X-ray binary with greater accuracy than is possible in noneclipsing systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL10
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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