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Astron. Astrophys. 329, 606-612 (1998)

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Spectrophotometric follow-up of GU Mus, the (X-ray) Nova Muscae 1991*

M. Della Valle, N. Masetti and A. Bianchini

Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padua, Italy

Received 25 February 1997 / Accepted 14 August 1997


The spectrophotometric follow-up of the X-ray nova GU Mus (=GS 1124-68) is presented. We have analysed 128 B, V and R frames and 19 optical spectra, collected at ESO-La Silla, from the epoch of the discovery to January 1992. The optical lightcurve appears to be typical for a X-ray nova and exhibits secondary maxima in coincidence with the X-ray ones. The spectra show that Balmer and He II [FORMULA] 4686 emission lines and the N III [FORMULA] 4640 emission blend widen during the decline. A possible explanation of this behaviour is proposed and applied to the spectral evolution of other X-ray novae.

Key words: accretion disks – stars: individual (GU Mus, GS 1124-68) – X-rays: stars

* Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

Send offprint requests to: Nicola Masetti (masetti@astrpd.pd.astro.it)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: December 8, 1997