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We report the discovery of an X-ray transient, observed in outburst with XMM-Newton on 2003 March 20, and with position (J2000, approximate positional error 2arcsec). No known source is present at this position and the source was not detected during published ROSAT or ASCA observations of that region. However, the source may be associated with 1H1812-182 detected by HEAO 1, although the error bars on the HEAO 1 position are very large and the two sources could also be unrelated. Therefore, we name the source XMMU J181227.8-181234. Initially, the source was not detected using the All-Sky Monitor (ASM) on-board the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, however, reprocessing of the ASM data shows that the source was in fact detected and it was active for about 50d. The X-ray spectrum of this transient is fitted equally well by an absorbed power law (with a spectral index of 2.5) or multicolour disc blackbody model (with kT ~ 2keV), where we find that the source is highly absorbed. We detect an unabsorbed 0.5-10keV flux in the range (2-5) × 10-9ergcm-2s-1, which at a distance of 8kpc corresponds to a 0.5-10keV luminosity of (1-4) × 1037ergs-1. No pulsations were detected by timing analysis. A colour-colour diagram from ASM data of different accreting objects suggests that the transient is a high-mass X-ray binary, as is also suggested by the high absorption compared to the average interstellar value in the direction of the source. However, the power-law spectral index is far more typical of a low-mass X-ray binary. Thus, we are unable to conclusively identify the nature of the transient. We also report on three sources first detected by the ASCA Galactic Plane Survey that are close to this transient.


External Galaxies | Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy


NOTICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHER POLICY: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©2006 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Available at doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10444.x