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Astron. Astrophys. 331, L37-L40 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

On some features of free precession of a triaxial body: the case of Her X-1

N.I. Shakura 1, K.A. Postnov 2 and M.E. Prokhorov 1

1 Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow University, 119899 Moscow, Russia
2 Faculty of Physics, Moscow State University, 119899 Moscow, Russia

Received 6 November 1997 / Accepted 23 December 1997


We show that the free precession of a triaxial body can naturally explain the anomalously rapid change of the X-ray pulse profile of Her X-1 observed by the HEAO-1 in September 1978 without requiring a large change in the moment of inertia.

Key words: stars: neutron – stars: individual: Her X-1

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: March 3, 1998