|The optical/NIR counterpart of the INTEGRAL obscured source IGR J16318-4848 : a sgB[e] in a HMXB ? (astro-ph/0408407)
|P. Filliatre, S. Chaty
The X-ray source IGR J16318-4848 was the first source discovered by INTEGRAL on 2003, January 29. The high energy spectrum exhibits such a high column density that the source is undetectable in X-rays below 2 keV. On 2003, February, 23-25, we triggered our Target of Opportunity (ToO) program using the EMMI and SOFI instruments on the New Technology Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (La Silla) to obtain optical and near-infrared (NIR) observations. We confirm the already proposed NIR counterpart and for the first time extended detection into optical. We report here photometric measurements in the R, I, J, bands, upper flux limits in the Bb and V bands, lower flux limits in the H and Ks bands. We also obtain NIR spectroscopy between 0.95$ and 2.52 microns, revealing a large number of emission lines, including forbidden iron lines and P-Cygni profiles, and showing a strong similarity with CI Cam, another strongly absorbed source. Together with the Spectral Energy Distribution (SED), these data point to a high luminosity, high temperature source, with an intrinsic optical-NIR absorption greater than the interstellar absorption, but two orders of magnitude below the X-ray absorption. We propose the following picture to match the data : the source is a High Mass X-ray binary (HMXB) at a distance between 0.9 and 6.2 kpc, the optical/NIR counterpart corresponds to the mass donor, which is an early-type star, maybe a sgB[e] star, surrounded by a dense and absorbing circumstellar material. This would make the second HMXB with a sgB[e] star as the mass donor after CI Cam. Such sources may represent a different evolutionary state of X-ray binaries previously undetected with the lower energy space telescopes ; if it is so, a new class of strongly absorbed X-ray binaries is being unveiled by INTEGRAL.