Hubble Space Telescope detection of a quiescent low-mass X-ray binary companion in 47 Tucanae

Peter D. Edmonds, Craig O. Heinke, Jonathan E. Grindlay, Ronald L. Gilliland

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Abstract

We present the results of a search for optical counterparts to the two quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (X5 and X7) in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, using high-quality Chandra and Hubble Space Telescope images. A faint blue (V = 21.7; U-V = 0.9) star within 0″.03 of the eclipsing system X5 shows variability on both short and long timescales and is the counterpart of the X-ray source. The colors and variability of this object are consistent with the combination of light from an accretion disk and a red main-sequence star (possibly somewhat larger than a normal main-sequence star with similar luminosity). No evidence is found for a star showing either variability or unusual colors near the position of X7, but a probable chance superposition of a star with V = 20.25 limits the depth of our search.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L17-L20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume564
Issue number1 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Edmonds, P. D., Heinke, C. O., Grindlay, J. E., & Gilliland, R. L. (2002). Hubble Space Telescope detection of a quiescent low-mass X-ray binary companion in 47 Tucanae. Astrophysical Journal, 564(1 II), L17-L20. https://doi.org/10.1086/338776