Context: IGR J18483-0311 is a poorly known transient hard X-ray source discovered by INTEGRAL during observations of the Galactic Center region performed between 23-28 April 2003.
Aims: To detect new outbursts from IGR J18483-0311 using INTEGRAL and archival Swift XRT observations and finally to characterize the nature of this source using the optical/near-infrared (NIR) information available through catalogue searches.
Methods: We performed an analysis of light curves and spectra of INTEGRAL and archival Swift XRT data as well as of optical/NIR catalogues.
Results: We report on 5 newly discovered outbursts from IGR J18483-0311 detected by INTEGRAL. For two of them it was possible to constrain a duration of the order of a few days. The strongest outburst reached a peak flux of ~120 mCrab (20-100 keV); its broad band JEM-X/ISGRI spectrum (3-50 keV) is best fitted by an absorbed cutoff power law with Γ=1.4±0.3, cutoff energy of 22^+7.5_-4.5 keV and N_H=9+5-4×1022 cm-2. Timing analysis of INTEGRAL data allowed us to identify periodicities of 18.52 days and 21.0526 seconds which are likely the orbital period of the system and the spin period of the X-ray pulsar respectively. Swift XRT observations of IGR J18483-0311 provided a very accurate source position which strongly indicates a highly reddened star in the USNO-B1.0 and 2MASS catalogues as its possible optical/NIR counterpart.
Conclusions: The X-ray spectral shape, the periods of 18.52 days and 21.0526 s, the high intrinsic absorption, the location in the direction of the Scutum spiral arm and the highly reddened optical object as possible counterpart, all favour the hypothesis that IGR J18483-0311 is a HMXB with a neutron star as compact companion. The system is most likely a Be X-ray binary, but a Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient nature can not be entirely excluded.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- May 2007
- gamma rays: observations;
- X-rays: binaries;
- X-rays: bursts;
- X-rays: general;
- X-rays: individuals: IGR J18483-0311;
- accepted for publication in A&