XMM-Newton light curves of the low-mass X-ray binary EXO 0748-676: Dips, eclipses, and bursts

J Homan, R Wijnands, M van den Berg

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29 Citations (Scopus)


We present an analysis of XMM-Newton light curves of the dipping, bursting, and eclipsing low-mass X-ray binary EXO 0748-676, focusing on the variability on time scales of seconds to hours. The observed variability can be roughly divided in three types: dips, eclipses and bursts. We find that the appearance of the latter two, depends strongly on the strength of the first. We show that the absorption dips change from spectrally hard to spectrally soft as they become deeper, which supports suggestions that the source is composed of a spectrally hard compact source and a spectrally soft extended source. The fast variability in the soft light curve indicates that the large structures causing the dips are made up of smaller absorption cores. We present the first clear detection with XMM-Newton of eclipses below 2 keV in this source, and show that dipping activity is apparently unrelated to the source luminosity. We also test several proposed models for the spectral evolution during dips and confirm the presence of a scatter/reflection component in the eclipse spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-812
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • accretion, accretion discs
  • binaries : eclipsing
  • stars : individual : EXO 0748-676
  • X-rays : stars
  • EXO 0748-676
  • 4U 1915-05


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