Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 332, L9-12 (1998/4-1)
The identification of the transient X-ray pulsar Cepheus X-4 with a Be/X-ray binary.
BONNET-BIDAUD J.M. and MOUCHET M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present long slit spectral (375-725nm) observations of the proposed identification of the transient 66s X-ray pulsar Cep X-4=GS2138+56. Spectra show features typical of Be/X-ray binaries. Superimposed on a weak emission from the IC 1396 nebula, strong Hα (4.5nm EW) and Hβ (0.3nm EW) lines are seen in emission with the other Balmer lines in absorption. Significant interstellar absorption features are also detected, including a strong Na I doublet (589nm) and diffuse bands at 443, 578 and 628nm. From the shape of the continuum as well as the lines present in the spectrum, a most probable spectral type of B1-B2V is derived with a reddening of EB–V=1.3±0.1. The reddening value is corroborated by the measure of interstellar absorption features, except for the sodium line which appears to be in excess and may be partly from circumstellar origin. The optical absorption is fully consistent with the column density derived from X-ray spectra, therefore confirming the identification. Despite apparent spatial coincidence, the source is located much further away than the local intervening nebula IC1396. The best estimate of the distance is D=(3.8±0.6)kpc, which places the source in the outer Perseus arm of the Galaxy. At this distance, the X-ray quiescent luminosity is (3-6)1033erg/s, thus comparable to typical Be/X-ray binary low states.
X-rays: binaries - stars: emission line Be - stars: pulsars: individual: Cep X-4