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ADS (authors="STEEGHS, D")
We present simultaneous optical and near-infrared spectra obtained during the 2021 outburst of the black hole transient 4U 1543-47. The X-ray hardness-intensity diagram and the comparison with similar systems reveal a luminous outburst, probably reaching the Eddington luminosity, as well as a long-lasting excursion to the so-called ultra-luminous state. VLT/X-shooter spectra were taken in two epochs 14 days apart during the early and brightest part of the outburst, while the source was in this ultra-luminous accretion state. The data show strong H and HeI emission lines, as well as high-excitation HeII and OIII transitions. Most lines are single-peaked in both spectra, except for the OIII lines that exhibit evident double-peaked profiles during the second epoch. The Balmer lines are embedded in broad absorption wings that we believe are mainly produced by the contribution of the A2V donor to the optical flux, which we estimate to be in the range of 11 to 14 per cent in the $r$ band during our observations. Although no conspicuous outflow features are found, we observe some wind-related line profiles, particularly in the near-infrared. Such lines include broad emission line wings and skewed red profiles, suggesting the presence of a cold (i.e. low ionisation) outflow with similar observational properties to those found in other low-inclination black hole transients.
Galactic compact binaries with orbital periods shorter than a few hours emit detectable gravitational waves at low frequencies. Their gravitational wave signals can be detected with the future Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Crucially, they may be useful in the early months of the mission operation in helping to validate LISA's performance in comparison to pre-launch expectations. We present an updated list of 48 candidate LISA binaries with measured properties, for which we derive distances based on Gaia Data release 3 astrometry. Based on the known properties from electromagnetic observations, we predict the LISA detectability after 1, 3, 6, and 48 months with state-of-the-art Bayesian analysis methods. We distinguish between verification and detectable binaries as being detectable after 3 and 48 months respectively. We find 16 verification binaries and 21 detectable sources, which triples the number of known LISA binaries over the last few years. These include detached double white dwarfs, AM CVn binaries, one ultracompact X-ray binary and two hot subdwarf binaries. We find that across this sample the gravitational wave amplitude is expected to be measured to $\approx10\%$ on average, while the inclination is expected to be determined with $\approx15^\circ$ precision. For detectable binaries these average errors increase to $\approx50\%$ and to $\approx40^\circ$ respectively.
Improved observational constraints on the orbital parameters of the low-mass X-ray binary Scorpius~X-1 were recently published in Killestein et al (2023). In the process, errors were corrected in previous orbital ephemerides, which have been used in searches for continuous gravitational waves from Sco~X-1 using data from the Advanced LIGO detectors. We present the results of a re-analysis of LIGO detector data from the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo using a model-based cross-correlation search. The corrected region of parameter space, which was not covered by previous searches, was about 1/3 as large as the region searched in the original O3 analysis, reducing the required computing time. We have confirmed that no detectable signal is present over a range of gravitational-wave frequencies from $25\textrm{Hz}$ to $1600\textrm{Hz}$, analogous to the null result of Abbott et al (2022). Our search sensitivity is comparable to that of Abbott et al (2022), who set upper limits corresponding, between $100\textrm{Hz}$ and $200\textrm{Hz}$, to an amplitude $h_0$ of about $10^{-25}$ when marginalized isotropically over the unknown inclination angle of the neutron star's rotation axis, or less than $4\times 10^{-26}$ assuming the optimal orientation.
We present the results from multi-wavelength observations of a transient discovered during the follow-up of S191213g, a gravitational wave (GW) event reported by the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration as a possible binary neutron star merger in a low latency search. This search yielded SN2019wxt, a young transient in a galaxy whose sky position (in the 80\% GW contour) and distance ($\sim$150\,Mpc) were plausibly compatible with the localisation uncertainty of the GW event. Initially, the transient's tightly constrained age, its relatively faint peak magnitude ($M_i \sim -16.7$\,mag) and the $r-$band decline rate of $\sim 1$\,mag per 5\,days appeared suggestive of a compact binary merger. However, SN2019wxt spectroscopically resembled a type Ib supernova, and analysis of the optical-near-infrared evolution rapidly led to the conclusion that while it could not be associated with S191213g, it nevertheless represented an extreme outcome of stellar evolution. By modelling the light curve, we estimated an ejecta mass of $\sim 0.1\,M_\odot$, with $^{56}$Ni comprising $\sim 20\%$ of this. We were broadly able to reproduce its spectral evolution with a composition dominated by helium and oxygen, with trace amounts of calcium. We considered various progenitors that could give rise to the observed properties of SN2019wxt, and concluded that an ultra-stripped origin in a binary system is the most likely explanation. Disentangling electromagnetic counterparts to GW events from transients such as SN2019wxt is challenging: in a bid to characterise the level of contamination, we estimated the rate of events with properties comparable to those of SN2019wxt and found that $\sim 1$ such event per week can occur within the typical GW localisation area of O4 alerts out to a luminosity distance of 500\,Mpc, beyond which it would become fainter than the typical depth of current electromagnetic follow-up campaigns.
MAXI J1348-630 is a low mass X-ray binary discovered in 2019 during a bright outburst. During this event, the system experienced both hard and soft states following the standard evolution. We present multi-epoch optical and near-infrared spectroscopy obtained with X-shooter at the Very Large Telescope. Our dataset includes spectra taken during the brightest phases of the outburst as well as the decay towards quiescence. We study the evolution of the main emission lines, paying special attention to the presence of features commonly associated with accretion disc winds, such as blueshifted absorptions, broad emission line wings and flat-top profiles. We find broad emission line wings in Hα during the hard-to-soft transition and blueshifted absorption troughs at ∼ ‒ 500 km s‒1 in Hβ, He I-5876, Hα and Paβ during the bright soft-intermediate state. In addition, flat-top profiles are seen throughout the outburst. We interpret these observables as signatures of a cold (i.e., optical-to-infrared) accretion disc wind present in the system. We discuss the properties of the wind and compare them with those seen in other X-ray transients. In particular, the wind velocity that we observe is low when compared to those of other systems, which might be a direct consequence of the relatively low binary inclination, as suggested by several observables. This study strengthens the hypothesis that cold winds are a common feature in low mass X-ray binaries and that they can also be detected in low inclination objects via high-quality optical and infrared spectroscopy.