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Astron. Astrophys. 355, 1041-1048 (2000)

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6. Conclusions

We have obtained new photometric and spectroscopic data of the supersoft X-ray source RX J0537.7-7034 which show that

  1. the orbital period is [FORMULA]3.5 hrs,

  2. the inclination of the orbital plane is 45o [FORMULA] 70o,

  3. the component masses are [FORMULA] [FORMULA] and [FORMULA] [FORMULA], respectively,

  4. the canonical scenario of thermal-timescale mass transfer from a donor more massive than the white dwarf (van den Heuvel et al. 1992) is clearly not applicable,

  5. the binary system RX J0537.7-7034 could be a SMC 13 system or wind-driven system, though the observed X-ray variability poses problems for both scenarios.

RX J0537.7-7034 is still quite puzzling in many respects, and new observations at different wavelengths should help solving the riddle. The important and exciting fact is that it is a new type of transient X-ray source, possibly representative of a whole new class, and understanding it will also add to a better understanding of close binary evolution.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: March 21, 2000