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Astron. Astrophys. 320, 840-844 (1997)

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ROSAT observations of A0538-66 during quiescence

S. Campana 1, 2

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Bianchi 46, I-22055 Merate (Lc), Italy (campana@merate.mi.astro.it)
2 Affiliated to I.C.R.A.

Received 26 July 1996 / Accepted 9 October 1996


We discuss serendipitous ROSAT observations of the Be transient A0538-66, which contains the fastest known accreting X-ray pulsar (69 ms). We show that this transient is detected several times during quiescence at a level of about [FORMULA]  erg s-1. Considering this low luminosity it is more likely that X-rays are produced by matter falling onto the neutron star magnetosphere, rather than onto the star surface. This could be the first example of an X-ray source in the "propeller regime".

Key words: stars: individual: A0538-66 – X-ray: stars – accretion

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998