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The Rich Mid-Infrared Environments of Two Highly Obscured X-Ray Binaries: Spitzer Observations of IGR J16318–4848 and GX 301-2

Moon, Dae-Sik and Kaplan, David L. and Reach, William T. and Harrison, Fiona A. and Lee, Jeong-Eun and Martin, Peter G. (2007) The Rich Mid-Infrared Environments of Two Highly Obscured X-Ray Binaries: Spitzer Observations of IGR J16318–4848 and GX 301-2. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 671 (1). L53-L56. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.1086/524730.

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We present the results of Spitzer spectroscopic observations of two highly obscured massive X-ray binaries: IGR J16318-4848 and GX 301-2. Our observations reveal for the first time the extremely rich mid-infrared environments of this type of source, including multiple continuum emission components (a hot component with T > 700 K and a warm component with T ~ 180 K) with apparent silicate absorption features, numerous H I recombination lines, many forbidden lines of low ionization potential, and pure rotational H_2 lines. This indicates that both sources have hot and warm circumstellar dust, ionized stellar winds, extended low-density ionized regions, and photodissociated regions. It appears difficult to attribute the total optical extinction of both sources to the hot and warm dust, which suggests that there could be an otherwise observable colder dust component responsible for most of the optical extinction and silicate absorption features. The observed mid-infrared spectra are similar to those from luminous blue variables, indicating that the highly obscured massive X-ray binaries may represent a previously unknown evolutionary phase of X-ray binaries with early-type optical companions. Our results highlight the importance and utility of mid-infrared spectroscopy for investigating highly obscured X-ray binaries.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Moon, Dae-Sik0000-0003-4200-5064
Kaplan, David L.0000-0001-6295-2881
Reach, William T.0000-0001-8362-4094
Harrison, Fiona A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Lee, Jeong-Eun0000-0003-3119-2087
Martin, Peter G.0000-0002-5236-3896
Additional Information:© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 July 9; accepted 2007 October 19; published 2007 November 7. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. D.-S. M. thanks Elise Furlan for her help in IRS data analysis, and Marten van Kerkwijk for comments. This research was partly supported by a Discovery Grant (327277) of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada to D.-S. M.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:circumstellar matter; infrared : stars; stars : emission-line, Be; X-rays : binaries; X-rays : individual (GX 301-2, IGR J16318-4848)
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100222-152837885
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Official Citation:The Rich Mid-Infrared Environments of Two Highly Obscured X-Ray Binaries: Spitzer Observations of IGR J16318–4848 and GX 301-2 Dae-Sik Moon, David L. Kaplan, William T. Reach, Fiona A. Harrison, Jeong-Eun Lee, and Peter G. Martin 2007 ApJ 671 L53-L56 doi: 10.1086/524730
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17558
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Mar 2010 17:34
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:36

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