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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Tim Roberts

Middleton, M.J., Cackett, E.M., Shaw, C., Ramsay, G., Roberts, T.P. & Wheatley, P.J. (2012). Identifying a new intermediate polar using XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 419(1): 336-341.

Author(s) from Durham


The bright X-ray source 2XMMi J180438.7−145647 is fortunate to have long baseline observations in INTEGRAL that complement observations taken by other missions. Optical spectroscopy of this object has suggested a distance of ∼7 kpc and an identification with a low-mass X-ray binary. We instead use the X-ray data from 0.3 to 40 keV to identify the source as a bright intermediate polar (IP) with an estimate for the white dwarf mass of ∼0.60 M⊙. This identification is supported by the presence of an iron triplet, the component lines of which are some of the strongest seen in IPs, and the signature of the spin period of the white dwarf at ∼24 min. We note that the lack of broad-band variability may suggest that this object is a stream-fed IP, similar in many respects to the well-studied IP, V2400 Oph. Phase binning has allowed us to create spectra corresponding to the peaks and troughs of the light curve from which we determine that the spectra appear harder in the troughs, consistent with the behaviour of other IPs binned on their spin periods. This work strongly suggests a misidentification in the optical due to the presence of large columns of enshrouding material. We instead propose a distance to the source of <2.5 kpc to be consistent with the luminosities of other IPs in the dim, hard state. The considerable flux of the source together with the strength of the iron lines may, in future, allow the source to be used to diagnose the properties of the shock-heated plasma and the reflected component of the emission.


Published on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society