Dynamical constraints on the neutron star mass in EXO 0748-676

T. Muñoz-Darias, Jorge Casares, K. O'Brien, D Steeghs, I. G. Martínez-Pais, Remon Cornelisse, P. A. Charles

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27 Citations (Scopus)


We present Very Large Telescope (VLT) intermediate resolution spectroscopy of UY Vol, the optical counterpart of the low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) X-ray burster EXO 0748-676. By using Doppler tomography we detect narrow components within the broad He II λ4542, λ4686 and λ5412 emission lines. The phase, velocity and narrowness of these lines are consistent with their arising from the irradiated hemisphere of the donor star, as has been observed in a number of LMXBs. Under this assumption, we provide the first dynamical constraints on the stellar masses in this system. In particular, we measure K2 > K em = 300 ± 10 kms -1. Using this value, we derive 1 M ≤ M 1 ≤ 2.4 M and 0.11 ≤ q ≤ 0.28. We find M1 ≥ 1.5 M for the case of a main sequence companion star. Our results are consistent with the presence of a massive neutron star as has been suggested by Özel (2006), although we cannot discard the canonical value of ~ 1.4 M

Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion, accretion discs
  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: individual: EXO 0748-676
  • X-rays: stars

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