Optical spectroscopy of the X-ray transient XTE J1118+480 in outburst.
DUBUS G., KIM R.S.J., MENOU K., SZKODY P. and BOWEN D.V.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report on optical spectroscopic observations of the X-ray transient XTE J1118+480 covering the period from 2000 April 7 to July 4. The spectrum is characterized by weak, broad, double-peaked Balmer and He lines on top of a blue continuum of slope p~(1)/(3), as expected for an optically thick accretion disk. The weak Bowen blend seen in our spectra may indicate a low metallicity for the source. The presence of a partial S-wave pattern in the He II λ4686 line appears consistent with the reported photometric period Porb=4.1 hr for XTE J1118+480. By using a combination of Doppler mapping and various theoretical arguments, we constrain plausible orbital parameters for the system: a mass ratio 0.02≲q≲0.1 and an inclination i≳70° for a neutron star primary or 30°≲i≲50° for a black hole primary with a mass between 4 and 10 M☉. Ca II absorption features observed at very high resolution constrain the interstellar hydrogen absorption column log[N_HI_(cm–2)]~20.45±0.2, and the identification of three absorbing clouds indicate a distance to the source ≲1 kpc, assuming the line of sight to XTE J1118+480 has average high-latitude properties. These results are discussed in the context of previous multiwavelength observations of this unusual system.