Journal Article

Fast optical and X-ray variability in the UCXB 4U0614+09*

P. J. Hakala, P. A. Charles and P. Muhli

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 416, issue 1, pages 644-649
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Fast optical and X-ray variability in the UCXB 4U0614+09*

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We present results from several years of fast optical photometry of 4U0614+091 (V1055 Orionis), a candidate ultracompact X-ray binary most likely consisting of a neutron star and a degenerate secondary. We find evidence for strong accretion-driven variability at all epochs, which manifests itself as red noise. This flickering produces transient peaks in the observed power spectrum in the 15–65 min period range. Only in one of our 12 optical data sets can we see evidence for a period that cannot be reproduced using the red noise model. This period of 51 min coincides with the strongest period detected by Shahbaz et al. and can thus be taken as the prime candidate for the orbital period of the system. Furthermore, we find some tentative evidence for the X-ray versus optical flux anticorrelation discovered by Machin et al. using our data together with the all-sky X-ray monitoring data from RXTE/All Sky Monitor. We propose that the complex time series behaviour of 4U0614+09 is a result of drastic changes in the accretion disc geometry/structure on time-scales from hours to days. Finally, we want to draw attention to the interpretation of moderately strong peaks in the power spectra of especially accreting sources. Many of such ‘periods’ can probably be attributed to the presence of red noise (i.e. correlated events) in the data.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; methods: data analysis; binaries: close; circumstellar matter; infrared: stars

Journal Article.  3392 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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