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Astron. Astrophys. 344, 614-616 (1999)

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1. Introduction

Herbig Ae/Be stars are young objects characterized by strong infrared excess, variable brightness, intrinsic polarization and complex spectral line profiles. Almost all these features are due to the presence of equatorially concentrated non-stable winds and exterior cool stable circumstellar shells. Herbig (1960) was the first to realize that the "Be and Ae stars associated with nebulosity" are in fact stars of intermediate mass still in their pre-main sequence phase of evolution (i.e. stars which have lost most of their envelopes of infalling gas and d ust, but are not yet fusing hydrogen into helium and their energy is mainly supplied by gravitational contraction). The criteria for membership of Herbig Ae/Be stars are (The et al. 1994): (1) spectral types earlier than F8; (2) presence of emission lines; (3) presence of IR-excess in the spectral energy distribution; (4) location in or near a probable star formation region.

The X-ray source of 1H2214+589 was detected with the HEAO-1 satellite both with Large Area Sky Survey (LASS) instrument and the Modulation Collimator (Tuohy et al. 1988). The X-ray flux between 2-10 keV was found to be [FORMULA] ergs cm- 2 s-1. 3G71 was tentatively identified as the optical counterpart of the X-ray source (Tuohy et al. 1988), primarily due to its early spectral type and the presence of H[FORMULA] emission line (Wackerling, 1970). It was believed that 3G71/1H2214+589 was a Be/X-ray binary system consisting of a Be star and a neutron star. As an X-ray binary, 1H2214+589 had been collected in the X-ray Binaries Catalogue compiled by van Paradijs (1993). However, the proof that 3G71 is a classical Be star associated with the X-ray source is not sufficient, and evidences for the binary characteristics, such as the orbital period and correlated behavior between optical and X-ray outbursts, remain undiscovered. In this paper we will present the results of optical spectroscopy of this interesting object and show that 3G71 is a convincing candidate of Herbig Ae/Be stars instead of a classical Be star.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 18, 1999