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A relativistically broadened O VIII Ly-alpha line in the ultra-compact X-ray binary 4U 0614+091

A relativistically broadened O VIII Ly-alpha line in the ultra-compact X-ray binary 4U 0614+091

Publication date: 22 June 2010

Authors: Madej, O.K. et al.

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Year: 2010

Ultra-compact X-ray binaries consist of a neutron star or black hole that accretes material from a white dwarf-donor star. The ultra-compact nature is expressed in very short orbital periods of less than 1 hour. In the case of 4U 0614+091 oxygen-rich material from a CO or ONe white dwarf is flowing to the neutron star. This oxygen-rich disc can reflect X-rays emitted by the neutron star giving a characteristic emission spectrum. We have analyzed high-resolution RGS and broad band EPIC spectra of 4U 0614+091 obtained by the XMM-Newton satellite. We detect a broad emission feature at ~0.7 keV in both instruments, which cannot be explained by unusual abundances of oxygen and neon in the line of sight, as proposed before in the literature. We interpret this feature as O VIII Ly-alpha emission caused by reflection of X-rays off highly ionized oxygen, in the strong gravitational field close to the neutron star.

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