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SRGA J181414.6-225604: A New Galactic Symbiotic X-Ray Binary Outburst Triggered by an Intense Mass-loss Episode of a Heavily Obscured Mira Variable

De, Kishalay and Mereminskiy, Ilya and Soria, Roberto and Conroy, Charlie and Kara, Erin and Anand, Shreya and Ashley, Michael C. B. and Boyer, Martha L. and Chakrabarty, Deepto and Grefenstette, Brian and Hankins, Matthew J. and Hillenbrand, Lynne A. and Jencson, Jacob E. and Karambelkar, Viraj and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Lau, Ryan M. and Lutovinov, Alexander and Moore, Anna M. and Ng, Mason and Panagiotou, Christos and Pasham, Dheeraj R. and Semena, Andrey and Simcoe, Robert and Soon, Jamie and Srinivasaragavan, Gokul P. and Travouillon, Tony and Yao, Yuhan (2022) SRGA J181414.6-225604: A New Galactic Symbiotic X-Ray Binary Outburst Triggered by an Intense Mass-loss Episode of a Heavily Obscured Mira Variable. Astrophysical Journal, 935 (1). Art. No. 36. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac7c6e.

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We present the discovery and multiwavelength characterization of SRGA J181414.6-225604, a Galactic hard X-ray transient discovered during the ongoing SRG/ART-XC sky survey. Using data from the Palomar Gattini-IR survey, we identify a spatially and temporally coincident variable infrared (IR) source, IRAS 18111-2257, and classify it as a very-late-type (M7–M8), long-period (1502 ± 24 days), and luminous (M_K ≈ −9.9 ± 0.2) O-rich Mira donor star located at a distance of ≈14.6^(+2.9)_(−2.3) kpc. Combining multicolor photometric data over the last ≈25 yr, we show that the IR counterpart underwent a recent (starting ≈800 days before the X-ray flare) enhanced mass-loss (reaching ≈2.1 × 10⁻⁵ M_⊙ yr⁻¹) episode, resulting in an expanding dust shell obscuring the underlying star. Multi-epoch follow-up observations from Swift, NICER, and NuSTAR reveal a ≈200 day long X-ray outburst reaching a peak luminosity of L_ₓ ≈ 2.5 × 10³⁶ erg s⁻¹, characterized by a heavily absorbed (N_H ≈ 6 × 10²² cm⁻²) X-ray spectrum consistent with an optically thick Comptonized plasma. The X-ray spectral and timing behavior suggest the presence of clumpy wind accretion, together with a dense ionized nebula overabundant in silicate material surrounding the compact object. Together, we show that SRGA J181414.6-225604 is a new symbiotic X-ray binary in outburst, triggered by an intense dust-formation episode of a highly evolved donor. Our results offer the first direct confirmation for the speculated connection between enhanced late-stage donor mass loss and the active lifetimes of symbiotic X-ray binaries.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
De, Kishalay0000-0002-8989-0542
Mereminskiy, Ilya0000-0001-8931-1320
Soria, Roberto0000-0002-4622-796X
Conroy, Charlie0000-0002-1590-8551
Kara, Erin0000-0003-0172-0854
Anand, Shreya0000-0003-3768-7515
Ashley, Michael C. B.0000-0003-1412-2028
Boyer, Martha L.0000-0003-4850-9589
Chakrabarty, Deepto0000-0001-8804-8946
Grefenstette, Brian0000-0002-1984-2932
Hankins, Matthew J.0000-0001-9315-8437
Jencson, Jacob E.0000-0001-5754-4007
Karambelkar, Viraj0000-0003-2758-159X
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Lau, Ryan M.0000-0003-0778-0321
Lutovinov, Alexander0000-0002-6255-9972
Moore, Anna M.0000-0002-2894-6936
Ng, Mason0000-0002-0940-6563
Pasham, Dheeraj R.0000-0003-1386-7861
Simcoe, Robert0000-0003-3769-9559
Travouillon, Tony0000-0002-7279-3658
Yao, Yuhan0000-0001-6747-8509
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2022 March 7; revised 2022 May 15; accepted 2022 May 17; published 2022 August 10. We thank the anonymous referee for a careful reading of the manuscript and for providing valuable feedback that helped to improve its contents. We thank T. Maccarone, D. Rogantini, P. Pradhan, R. Remillard, and M Guenther for valuable discussions. We thank the Swift, NICER, and NuSTAR teams for approving the Target of Opportunity observations of the transient. Support for this work was provided by NASA through the NASA Hubble Fellowship grant #HST-HF2-51477.001, awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS5-26555. PGIR is generously funded by Caltech, Australian National University, the Mt Cuba Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the Bi-national Science Foundation. PGIR is a collaborative project among Caltech, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, Columbia University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. This work is based on data from the Mikhail Pavlinsky ART-XC X-ray telescope on board the SRG observatory. The SRG observatory was built by Roskosmos in the interests of the Russian Academy of Sciences, represented by its Space Research Institute (IKI) in the framework of the Russian Federal Space Program, with the participation of the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR). The SRG spacecraft was designed, built, launched, and is operated by the Lavochkin Association and its subcontractors. The science data are downlinked via the Deep Space Network Antennae in Bear Lakes, Ussurijsk, and Baykonur, funded by Roskosmos. The ART-XC team thank the Russian Space Agency, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and State Corporation Rosatom, for the support for the SRG project and the ART-XC telescope, and the Lavochkin Association (NPOL) and partners for the creation and operation of the SRG spacecraft (Navigator). This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. We acknowledge the Visiting Astronomer Facility at the Infrared Telescope Facility, which is operated by the University of Hawaii under Cooperative Agreement no. NNX-08AE38A with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Astronomy Program. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. The work of I.M., A.L., and A.S. was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant 19-12-00423. R.S. acknowledges grant No. 12073029 from the National Science Foundation of China. C.P. acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). Facilities: ROSAT, INTEGRAL, XMM Newton, SRG: ART-XC, NICER, Swift, NuSTAR, PO: 0.3 m (PGIR), PO: 1.2 m (ZTF), PO: 1.5 m (SED Machine), PO: Hale (DBSP, TripleSpec), PanSTARRS, NEOWISE, IRTF (SpeX), Magellan: Baade (FIRE), SSO: ATT (WiFeS). Software: spextool (Cushing et al. 2004), xtellcor (Vacca et al. 2003), pypeit (Prochaska et al. 2020), nustardas (V2.1), Stingray (V0.3; Bachetti et al. 2021), xspec (Arnaud 1996), emcee (Foreman-Mackey et al. 2013), DUSTY (Ivezic & Elitzur 1997), HEAsoft (v6.29c; HEASARC 2014).
Group:Astronomy Department, NuSTAR, Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51477.001
Australian National UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Heising-Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Russian Space AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Russian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Russian Science Foundation19-12-00423
National Natural Science Foundation of China12073029
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:X-ray surveys; Near infrared astronomy; Symbiotic binary stars; Asymptotic giant branch stars; Bondi accretion; Circumstellar dust
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: X-ray surveys (1824); Near infrared astronomy (1093); Symbiotic binary stars (1674); Asymptotic giant branch stars (2100); Bondi accretion (174); Circumstellar dust (236)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220526-173308925
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Kishalay De et al 2022 ApJ 935 36
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114944
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Jun 2022 14:19
Last Modified:16 Aug 2022 19:51

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