Clark, J. S.
The identification of the optical/IR counterpart of the 15.8-s transient X-ray pulsar XTE J1946+274.
Astronomy and Astrophysics, 393(3),
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We report on the discovery of the optical/IR counterpart of the 15.8s transient X-ray pulsar XTE J1946+274. We re-analysed archival BeppoSAX observations of XTE J1946+274, obtaining a new refined position (a circle with 22" radius at 90% confidence level). Based on this new position we carried out optical and infra-red (IR) follow-up observations. Within the new error circle we found a relatively optical faint (B=18.6) IR bright (H=12.1) early type reddened star (V--R=1.6). The optical spectra show strong H-alpha and H-beta emission lines. The IR photometric observations of the field confirm the presence of an IR excess for the H-alpha--emitting star (K=11.6, J--H=0.6) which is likely surrounded by a circumstellar envelope. Spectroscopic and photometric data indicate a B0--1V--IVe spectral-type star located at a distance of 8--10kpc and confirm the Be-star/X-ray binary nature of XTE J1946+274.
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