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RX J0123.4-7321-the story continues: major circumstellar disc loss and recovery

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journal contribution
posted on 13.09.2021, 12:38 by MJ Coe, A Udalski, JA Kennea, PA Evans
ABSTRACT RX J0123.4-7321 is a well-established Be star X-ray binary system in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Like many such systems, the variable X-ray emission is driven by the underlying behaviour of the mass donor Be star. Previous work has shown that the optical and X-ray were characterized by regular outbursts at the proposed binary period of 119 d. However, around 2008 February the optical behaviour changed substantially, with the previously regular optical outbursts ending. Reported here are new optical (OGLE) and X-ray (Swift) observations covering the period after 2008 that suggest an almost total circumstellar disc loss followed by a gradual recovery. This indicates the probable transition of a Be star to a B star, and back again. However, at the time of the most recent OGLE data (2020 March) the characteristic periodic outbursts had yet to return to their early state, indicating that the disc still had some re-building yet to complete.

Funding

The OGLE project has received funding from the National Science Centre, Poland, grant MAESTRO 2014/14/A/ST9/00121 to AU. PAE acknowledges UKSA support. JAK acknowledges support from NASA grant NAS5-00136. This work uses data supplied by the UK Swift Science Data Centre at the University of Leicester.

History

Citation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 505, Issue 3, August 2021, Pages 4417–4421, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab1609

Author affiliation

School of Physics and Astronomy

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Volume

505

Issue

3

Pagination

4417 - 4421

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0035-8711

eissn

1365-2966

Acceptance date

29/05/2021

Copyright date

2021

Available date

13/09/2021

Language

English