Swift J004427.3−734801 - a probable Be/white dwarf system in the small magellanic cloud

M. J. Coe, J. A. Kennea, P. A. Evans, A. Udalski

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10 Scopus citations


Swift J004427.3−734801 is an X-ray source in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) that was first discovered as part of the Swift S-CUBED programme in 2020 January. It was not detected in any of the previous 3 yr worth of observations. The accurate positional determination from the X-ray data has permitted an optical counterpart to be identified that has the characteristics of an O9V−B2III star. Evidence for the presence of an infrared excess and significant Iband variability strongly suggests that this is an OBe-type star. Over 17 yr worth of optical monitoring by the OGLE (Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment) project reveals periods of time in which quasi-periodic optical flares occur at intervals of ∼21.5 d. The X-ray data obtained from the S-CUBED project reveal a very soft spectrum, too soft to be that from accretion on to a neutron star or black hole. It is suggested here that this is a rarely identified Be star-white dwarf binary in the SMC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L50-L55
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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