Vol 17, No 10

Updating the orbital ephemeris of the dipping source XB 1254–690 and the distance to the source

Angelo F. Gambino, Rosario Iaria, Tiziana Di Salvo, Marco Matranga, Luciano Burderi, Fabio Pintore, Alessandro Riggio, Andrea Sanna


Abstract XB 1254–690 is a dipping low mass X-ray binary system hosting a neutron star and showing type I X-ray bursts. We aim at obtaining a more accurate orbital ephemeris and at constraining the orbital period derivative of the system for the first time. In addition, we want to better constrain the distance to the source in order to locate the system in a well defined evolutive scenario. We apply, for the first time, an orbital timing technique to XB 1254–690, using the arrival times of the dips present in the light curves that have been collected during 26 yr of X-ray pointed observations acquired from different space missions. We estimate the dip arrival times using a statistical method that weights the count-rate inside the dip with respect to the level of persistent emission outside the dip. We fit the obtained delays as a function of the orbital cycles both with a linear and a quadratic function. We infer the orbital ephemeris of XB 1254–690, improving the accuracy of the orbital period with respect to previous estimates. We infer a mass of M2 = 0.42 ± 0.04 M⊙ for the donor star, in agreement with estimations already present in literature, assuming that the star is in thermal equilibrium while it transfers part of its mass via the inner Lagrangian point, and assuming a neutron star mass of 1.4 M⊙. Using these assumptions, we also constrain the distance to the source, finding a value of 7.6±0.8 kpc. Finally, we discuss the evolution of the system, suggesting that it is compatible with a conservative mass transfer driven by magnetic braking.


Keywords stars: neutron — stars: individual (XB 1254–690) — X-rays: binaries — X-rays: stars — Astrometry and celestial mechanics: ephemerides

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