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Photometric observations of the radio bright B[e]/X-ray binary CI Cam

Clark, J. S.; Miroshnichenko, A. S.; Larionov, V. M.; Lyuty, V. M.; Hynes, R. I.; Pooley, G. G.; Coe, M. J.; McCollough, M.; Dieters, S.; Efimov, Yu; Fabregat, J.; Goranskii, V. P.; Haswell, C. A.; Metlova, N. V.; Robinson, E. L.; Roche, P.; Shenavrin, V. I. and Welsh, W. F. (2000). Photometric observations of the radio bright B[e]/X-ray binary CI Cam. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 356(1) pp. 50–62.

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We present multiwavelength (optical, IR, radio) observations of CI Cam, the optical counterpart to the transient X-ray source XTE J0421+560. Pre-outburst quiescent observations reveal the presence of a dusty envelope around the system. Pronounced short term variability is observed at all wavebands from U-K, but no indication of prior flaring of a similar magnitude to the 1998 April outburst is found in these data.

Data obtained during the 1998 April X-ray flare reveal pronounced optical-radio flaring. The optical flux was observed to quickly return to quiescent levels, while the radio flare was of much longer duration. The optical component is likely to result from a combination of free-free/free-bound emission, emission line and thermal dust emission, caused by re-radiation of the X-ray flux, while the behaviour of the multiwavelength radio data is consistent with emission from expanding ejecta emitting via the synchrotron mechanism.

Post-outburst (1998 August-1999 March) U-M broadband photometric observations reveal that while the optical (UBV) flux remains at pre-outburst quiescent levels, near IR (JHKLM) fluxes exceed the pre-outburst fluxes by ~0.5 magnitudes. Modelling the pre- and post-outburst spectral energy distribution of CI Cam reveals that the structure and/or composition of the dusty component of the circumstellar envelope appears to have changed. Due to a lack of information on the precise chemical composition of the dust within the system several explanations for this behaviour are possible, such as the production of new dust at the inner edge of the envelope, or modification of the composition of the dust due to X-ray irradiation.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2000 European Southern Observatory (ESO)
ISSN: 1432-0746
Keywords: binary stars; circumstellar matter; CI Cam; stellar winds, outflows; X-rays stars
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 11090
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2008 10:29
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 12:06
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