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Astron. Astrophys. 362, L53-L56 (2000)

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1. Introduction

The XTE J2012+381 was discovered as a new transient source on May 27, 1998 by All Sky Monitor (ASM) aboard the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, RXTE (Bradt, Swank & Rothschild 1993) observatory (Remillard et al. 1998). The X-ray source was localized with an accuracy of 1 arcmin in multiple scans of the region by PCA/RXTE experiment (Marshall & Strohmayer 1998): R.A.[FORMULA], Dec[FORMULA] (equinox 2000.0). Observations in the optical band by 1.0-m Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope showed the presence of a possible optical counterpart USNO 1275.13846761: R.A.[FORMULA], Dec[FORMULA] (equinox 2000.0) (Hynes & Roche 1998). Observations in the radio band by the VLA revealed the presence of the likely counterpart of XTE J2012+381: R.A.[FORMULA], Dec [FORMULA] (equinox 2000.0, uncertainty [FORMULA]) as well. Significant variability of the new radio source supports its association with the X-ray transient (Hjellming et al. 1998, Pooley 1998). From early observations of this transient it was assumed to be black hole candidate (e.g. White et al 1998).

The pointed instruments of RXTE - PCA and HEXTE observed the source quasi evenly from May to July 1998, providing good coverage of the whole outburst. The flux from the source was above the ASM/RXTE detection limit until December 2, 1998. In this Letter we present the results of a spectral and timing analysis of RXTE pointed observations.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 30, 2000