Quiescent emission from the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary Cen X-4 is seen to be variable on time-scales from hundreds of seconds to years, suggesting that at least in this object, low-level accretion is important during quiescence. Here, we present results from recent XMM-Newton and Swift observations of Cen X-4, where the X-ray flux (0.5-10 keV) varies by a factor of 6.5 between the brightest and faintest states. We find a positive correlation between the X-ray flux and the simultaneous near-ultraviolet (UV) flux, where as there is no significant correlation between the X-ray and simultaneous optical (V, B) fluxes. This suggests that while the X-ray and UV emitting regions are somehow linked, the optical region originates elsewhere. Comparing the luminosities, it is plausible that the UV emission originates due to reprocessing of the X-ray flux by the accretion disc, with the hot inner region of the disc being a possible location for the UV emitting region. The optical emission, however, could be dominated by the donor star. The X-ray/UV correlation does not favour the accretion stream impact point as the source of the UV emission.
Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy
Cackett, E. M., Brown, E. F., Degenaar, N., Miller, J. M., Reynolds, M., Wijnands, R. 2013. An X-ray–UV correlation in Cen X-4 during quiescence. MNRAS 433(2), 1362-1368.
NOTICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHER POLICY: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Available at doi:10.1093/mnras/stt804