Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Of Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries: Accretion Disk Contamination And Compact Object Mass Determination In V404 Cyg And Cen X-4




Khargharia, Juthika
Froning, Cynthia S.
Robinson, Edward L.

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We present near-infrared (NIR) broadband (0.80-2.42 mu m) spectroscopy of two low-mass X-ray binaries: V404 Cyg and Cen X-4. One important parameter required in the determination of the mass of the compact objects in these systems is the binary inclination. We can determine the inclination by modeling the ellipsoidal modulations of the Roche-lobe filling donor star, but the contamination of the donor star light from other components of the binary, particularly the accretion disk, must be taken into account. To this end, we determined the donor star contribution to the infrared flux by comparing the spectra of V404 Cyg and Cen X-4 to those of various field K-stars of known spectral type. For V404 Cyg, we determined that the donor star has a spectral type of K3 III. We determined the fractional donor contribution to the NIR flux in the H and K bands as 0.98 +/- 0.05 and 0.97 +/- 0.09, respectively. We remodeled the H-band light curve from Sanwal et al. after correcting for the donor star contribution to obtain a new value for the binary inclination. From this, we determined the mass of the black hole in V404 Cyg to be M(BH) = 9.0(-0.6)(+0.2)M(circle dot). We performed the same spectral analysis for Cen X-4 and found the spectral type of the donor star to be in the range K5-M1 V. The donor star contribution in Cen X-4 is 0.94 +/- 0.14 in the H band while in the K band, the accretion disk can contribute up to 10% of the infrared flux. We remodeled the H-band light curve from Shahbaz et al., again correcting for the fractional contribution of the donor star to obtain the inclination. From this, we determined the mass of the neutron star as M(NS) = 1.5(-0.4)(+0.1)M(circle dot). However, the masses obtained for both systems should be viewed with some caution since contemporaneous light curve and spectral data are required to obtain definitive masses.



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Khargharia, Juthika, Cynthia S. Froning, and Edward L. Robinson. "Near-infrared Spectroscopy of Low-mass X-ray Binaries: Accretion Disk Contamination and Compact Object Mass Determination in V404 Cyg and Cen X-4." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 716, No. 2 (Jun., 2010): 1105.