Astronomy, Photography and Weather

General Category => Astronomy & Space => Topic started by: markt on January 16, 2011, 12:50:39 pm

Title: X-Ray Binary 4U 0641+091
Post by: markt on January 16, 2011, 12:50:39 pm
I've been observing this weekend the 'imaginatively' named X-Ray Binary system 4U 0641+019 using the Faulkes Telescope as part of a themed observing programme.  At Xray wavelengths the system displays variability in brightness every ~52 minutes which is the systems orbital period.  It has been suggested for sometime that the optical counterpart of the system, at magnitude 18.5, also displays variability as the jet that comes from the pulsars poles 'flashes' at earth.  Well the purpose of this programme was to use various telescopes around the world to observe the object continuoslly for 48 hours and then do a photometric analysis of the results and see what there was to see...

Well yesterday Faulkes Telescope South wasn't operational due to bad weather - it will come as no surprise to you that it was raining in Australia...  Faulkes Telescope North was operational but was suffering from problems with high humidity, and from the first images of the day it was obvious to me that somewhere in the optical train was suffering from fogging / dewing / condensation (maybe they should invest in some dew heaters  :P )  As it's an automated system it finally shut itself down after an hour of imaging, however this mean there was an hour and halfs worth of data.

Using infra red images from the Spitzer telescope archives I was able to locate the object in FTN images, and when I knew where it was set out to do a photometric analysis of it.  Results were interesting to say the least, and are shown below...


I've sent this off to the people at Faulkes Telescope, so will be fun to see what they say...  Today we've managed to get a 2 hour run of data, so fingers crossed will be able to identify this trend again, that's the plan anyway!

Hope you're all well!

Mark :)

Title: Re: X-Ray Binary 4U 0641+091
Post by: paulster78 on January 17, 2011, 06:45:55 pm
Good work Mark  :)

Title: Re: X-Ray Binary 4U 0641+091
Post by: martinastro on January 17, 2011, 07:07:07 pm
This is incredible Mark, looks like you have collected some serious data on the orbital period, this is truly amazing stuff!

Title: Re: X-Ray Binary 4U 0641+091
Post by: markt on January 17, 2011, 08:27:06 pm
Thanks guys!  Your kind words are always appreciated :)