Discovery and identification of MAXI J1621-501 as a type I x-ray burster with a super-orbital period
Gorgone, Nicholas M. and Kouveliotou, Chryssa and Negoro, Hitoshi and Wijers, Ralph A. M. J. and Bozzo, Enrico and Guiriec, Sylvain and Bult, Peter and Huppenkothen, Daniela and Göğüş, Ersin and Bahramian, Arash and Kennea, Jamie and Linford, Justin D. and Miller-Jones, James and Baring, Matthew G. and Beniamini, Paz and Chakrabarty, Deepto and Granot, Jonathan and Hailey, Charles and Harrison, Fiona A. and Hartmann, Dieter H. and Iwakiri, Wataru and Kaper, Lex and Kara, Erin and Mazzola, Simona and Murata, Katsuhiro and Stern, Daniel and Tomsick, John A. and Van der Horst, Alexander J. and Younes, George A. (2019) Discovery and identification of MAXI J1621-501 as a type I x-ray burster with a super-orbital period. Astrophysical Journal, 884 (2). ISSN 0004-637X (Print) 1538-4357 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab3e43
MAXI J1621-501 is the first Swift/XRT Deep Galactic Plane Survey transient that was followed up with a multitude of space missions (NuSTAR, Swift, Chandra, NICER, INTEGRAL, and MAXI) and ground-based observatories (Gemini, IRSF, and ATCA). The source was discovered with MAXI on 2017 October 19 as a new, unidentified transient. Further observations with NuSTAR revealed two Type I X-ray bursts, identifying MAXI J1621-501 as a low mass x-ray binary with a neutron star primary. Overall, 24 Type I bursts were detected from the source during a 15 month period. At energies below 10 keV, the source spectrum was best fit with three components: an absorbed blackbody with kT = 2.3 keV, a cutoff power law with index Gamma = 0.7, and an emission line centered on 6.3 keV. Timing analysis of the X-ray persistent emission and burst data has not revealed coherent pulsations from the source or an orbital period. We identified, however, a super-orbital period similar to 78 days in the source X-ray light curve. This period agrees very well with the theoretically predicted radiative precession period of similar to 82 days. Thus, MAXI J1621-501 joins a small group of sources characterized with super-orbital periods.
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