NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0502

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0502


PI: Jeroen Homan, MIT, jeroen@space.mit.edu
Address: MKI, 70 Vassar Street, 37-582D, Cambridge, MA 02140, United States

CoI: Maureen van den Berg, Harvard/CfA
CoI: Dipankar Maitra, University of Michigan
CoI: Joel Fridriksson, MIT
CoI: Ed Cackett, University of Michigan

Title: What powered the most luminous neutron-star transient?

Abstract: We request K band monitoring observations of the quiescent neutron- star low-mass X-ray binary XTE J1701-462 with ANDICAM on the SMARTS 1.3m. During a recent outburst, this source became the most luminous Galactic neutron-star transient ever observed. Now that the source is in quiescence, we have the opportunity to determine the binary parameters of XTE J1701-462 and better understand what led to its exceptionally long and bright outburst. The goal of the proposed monitoring observations is to search for the orbital period of the system, which we expect to be on the order of days to weeks. This program complements our ongoing spectroscopy efforts with Magellan/MMIRS and VLT/ISAAC to classify the donor star, and may ultimately enable us to a measure of the mass of the neutron star. We request nightly 14 x 50s K-band exposures for the months of August and September, to accumulate sufficient data for a period search.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0502

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