XMM-Newton discovery of the X-ray transient XMMU J181227.8-181234 in the Galactic plane

E M Cackett, R Wijnands, R Remillard

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7 Citations (Scopus)


We report the discovery of an X-ray transient, observed in outburst with XMM-Newton on 2003 March 20, and with position alpha = 18(h)12(m)27(s).8, delta = -18 degrees 12'34'' (J2000, approximate positional error 2 arcsec). No known source is present at this position and the source was not detected during published ROSAT or ASCA observations of that region. However, the source may be associated with 1H1812-182 detected by HEAO 1, although the error bars on the HEAO 1 position are very large and the two sources could also be unrelated. Therefore, we name the source XMMU J181227.8-181234. Initially, the source was not detected using the All-Sky Monitor (ASM) on-board the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, however, reprocessing of the ASM data shows that the source was in fact detected and it was active for about 50 d. The X-ray spectrum of this transient is fitted equally well by an absorbed power law (with a spectral index of 2.5) or multicolour disc blackbody model (with kT similar to 2 keV), where we find that the source is highly absorbed. We detect an unabsorbed 0.5-10 keV flux in the range (2-5) x 10(-9) erg cm(-2) s(-1), which at a distance of 8 kpc corresponds to a 0.5-10 keV luminosity of (1-4) x 10(37) erg s(-1). No pulsations were detected by timing analysis. A colour-colour diagram from ASM data of different accreting objects suggests that the transient is a high-mass X-ray binary, as is also suggested by the high absorption compared to the average interstellar value in the direction of the source. However, the power-law spectral index is far more typical of a low-mass X-ray binary. Thus, we are unable to conclusively identify the nature of the transient. We also report on three sources first detected by the ASCA Galactic Plane Survey that are close to this transient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1965-1971
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2006


  • X-rays : binaries
  • X-rays : individual : XMMU J181227.8
  • 181234
  • X-rays : individual : AX J1811.2-1828
  • X-rays : individual : AX J1812.1-1835
  • X-rays : individual : AX J1812.2-1842
  • MHZ


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