- Optical spectroscopy and photometry of SAX J1808.4−3658 in outburst
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 395 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We present phase resolved optical spectroscopy and photometry of V4580 Sagittarii, the optical counterpart to the accretion powered millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658, obtained during the 2008 September/October outburst. Doppler tomography of the NIII lambda 4640.64 Bowen blend emission line reveals a focused spot of emission at a location consistent with the secondary star. The velocity of this emission occurs at 324 +/- 15 km s(-1); applying a 'K-correction', we find the velocity of the secondary star projected on to the line of sight to be 370 +/- 40 km s-1. Based on existing pulse timing measurements, this constrains the mass ratio of the system to be 0.044(-0.004)(+0.005), and the mass function for the pulsar to be 0.44(-0.13)(+0.16)M(circle dot). Combining this mass function with various inclination estimates from other authors, we find no evidence to suggest that the neutron star in SAX J1808.4-3658 is more massive than the canonical value of 1.4M(circle dot). Our optical light curves exhibit a possible superhump modulation, expected for a system with such a low mass ratio. The equivalent width of the CaII H and K interstellar absorption lines suggest that the distance to the source is similar to 2.5 kpc. This is consistent with previous distance estimates based on type-IX-ray bursts which assume cosmic abundances of hydrogen, but lower than more recent estimates which assume helium-rich bursts.
- go to publisher's site
- DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14562.x; eprintid: arXiv:0901.3991
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