A new AM Her-like X-ray source

Agrawal, P. C. ; Riegler, G. R. ; Rao, A. R. (1983) A new AM Her-like X-ray source Nature, 301 (5898). pp. 318-321. ISSN 0028-0836

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v301/n5898/pd...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/301318a0


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 Her, AN Ursae Majoris, 2A0311-227 and VV Puppis-have been known for some time, while E1405-451 and a new serendipitous source near NGC3607 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 star. The X-ray emission then arises due to accretion of matter from the red dwarf secondary onto the poles of the magnetic white dwarf. 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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