NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0226

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0226


PI: Douglas Gies, Georgia State University, gies@chara.gsu.edu
Address: CHARA, Physics and Astronomy, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303, U.S.A.

CoI: Virginia McSwain, Georgia State University
CoI: Paul Wiita, Georgia State University
CoI: Arjen van der Meer, University of Amsterdam
CoI: Lex Kaper, University of Amsterdam
CoI: Wenjin Huang, Georgia State University
CoI: Todd Hillwig, Georgia State University

Title: Mass Donors in SS433 and Other Microquasars

Abstract: SS 433 is an X-ray binary and one of the prototypes of the class of microquasars, small scale systems with relativistic, radio emitting jets. Our recent spectroscopic investigation of SS 433 suggests that the donor orbits within an extensive disk, and the best opportunity to detect this star occurs at precessional phases when this star is above the disk at inferior conjunction. Preliminary results from blue spectroscopy do indicate that the donor's absorption line spectrum is present then. Here we propose to find the companion spectrum at this critical time and to determine the masses of both components (and whether or not the compact star is a black hole). We plan to undertake the first abundance study of LS 5039 to determine if the donor contains nuclear processed gas from the progenitor of the compact star. We will obtain red spectra of several new microquasar candidates to determine the nature of their optical counterparts.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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