AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 5. Stellar and Intermediate Mass Black Holes
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.01] Optical Variability Study of the M33 Nuclear Region

K. Z. Stanek, A. Z. Bonanos, J. C. McDowell (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

We use the 1.2m telescope at the F. L. Whipple Observatory to monitor the nuclear region of the nearby galaxy M33 and study possible optical variability of the remarkable source M33 X-8. The X-ray luminosity of M33 X-8 is 7\times 1038\,erg/s (0.1-2.4 keV), making it the most luminous non-transient source in the Local Group. We plan to obtain well-sampled BVI data, spanning six months (July-December 2001), for the nuclear region of M33. While the possible optical counterpart to X-8 is buried within the bright central star cluster (V~14) in M33, using the technique of image subtraction we will be able to see any strongly variable source down to V~20.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: kstanek@cfa.harvard.edu

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