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Astron. Astrophys. 323, 158-162 (1997)

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A candidate optical and infrared counterpart for GRS 1739-278

J. Martí 1, 2, I.F. Mirabel 1, P.-A. Duc 3 and L.F. Rodríguez 4

1 CEA/DSM/DAPNIA/Service d'Astrophysique, Centre d'Études de Saclay, F-91191 Gif/Yvette, France
2 Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 647, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
3 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Stra [FORMULA] e 2, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany
4 Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, Apdo. Postal 70-264, 04510 México D.F., Mexico

Received 9 October 1996 / Accepted 16 December 1996


The accurate radio position of the hard X-ray transient GRS 1739-278 has been observed with different ESO telescopes in a search for optical and near infrared counterpart. A candidate counterpart has been detected in all filters observed within less than 1 [FORMULA] [FORMULA] of the radio position. No significant optical nor near infrared photometric variability is observed within [FORMULA] 0.2 mag in a time scale of several weeks. Our spectral type and reddening analysis appears to be consistent with either a normal massive X-ray binary or a low mass X-ray binary with a giant companion, both at roughly the galactic center distance. The a priori probability of a chance superposition in a field as crowded as that of GRS 1739-278 is estimated to be 14%. However, this decreases to less than 1% if the source belongs to any of the spectral types and luminosity classes proposed.

Key words: X-rays: stars – infrared: stars – radio continuum: stars – stars: individual: GRS 1739-278

Send offprint requests to: J. Martí

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 5, 1998