Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 397, L11-L15 (2009/July-3)
Discovery of a short orbital period in the supergiant fast X-ray transient IGR J16479-4514.
JAIN C., PAUL B. and DUTTA A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report here the discovery of a 3.32 d orbital period in the Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient (SFXT) source IGR J16479-4514. Using the long-term light curve of this source obtained with Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) in the energy range of 15-50 keV, we have clearly detected an orbital modulation including a full eclipse of duration ∼0.6 d. In the hard X-ray band of the BAT instrument, the eclipse ingress and egress are rapid. We have also used the long-term light curve obtained with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) All Sky Monitor (ASM) in the energy range of 1.5-12 keV. Taken independently, the detection of orbital modulation in the RXTE-ASM light curve is not significant. However, considering a clear detection of orbital modulation in the BAT light curve, we have used the ASM light curve for a more precise determination of the orbital period. IGR J16479-4514 has the shortest orbital period among the three SFXTs with measured/known orbital period. We discuss the implication of a short orbital period with the various mechanisms proposed to explain the transient nature of this class of sources.