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Effect of pulse profile variations on measurement of eccentricity in orbits of Cen X-3 and SMC X-1

Raichur, Harsha and Paul, Biswajit (2010) Effect of pulse profile variations on measurement of eccentricity in orbits of Cen X-3 and SMC X-1. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 401 (3). pp. 1532-1539.

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Official URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/1226872...

Abstract

It has long been argued that better timing precision allowed by satellites like Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) will allow us to measure the orbital eccentricity and the angle of periastron of some of the bright persistent high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) and hence a possible measurement of apsidal motion in these system. Measuring the rate of apsidal motion allows one to estimate the apsidal motion constant of the mass losing companion star and hence allows for the direct testing of the stellar structure models for these giant stars present in the HMXBs. In the present paper, we use the archival RXTE data of two bright persistent sources, namely Cen X-3 and SMC X-1, to measure the very small orbital eccentricity and the angle of periastron. We find that the small variations in the pulse profiles of these sources, rather than the intrinsic time resolution provided by RXTE, limit the accuracy with which we can measure arrival time of the pulses from these sources. This influences the accuracy with which one can measure the orbital parameters, especially the very small eccentricity and the angle of periastron in these sources. The observations of SMC X-1 in the year 2000 were taken during the high-flux state of the source and we could determine the orbital eccentricity and omega using this data set.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Wiley Blackwell.
Keywords: stars: emission-line, Be; stars: neutron; X-rays: individual: Cen X-3; X-rays: individual: SMC X-1
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Joint Astronomy Programme
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2010 07:20
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:54
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/25476

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