AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 107 Binary Stars Including Theory and Activity
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[107.06] Optical Variability of X-Ray Bright Southern Symbiotic Stars

C. Hedrick (University of Nebraska), J. Sokoloski (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

We performed weekly B- and V-band observations of four X-ray bright southern symbiotic binary stars -- CD-43 14304, Hen 3-1591, LMC S63, and SMC LN 358 -- using the 1.3-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). We began optical monitoring in August 2003 for two of the objects (LMC S63 and SMC LN 358) and in January 2004 for the other two objects (CD-43 14304 and Hen 3-1591). None of the four survey objects experienced a major outburst during the monitoring period. We did, however, detect small-amplitude (~ 0.1 mag) optical variability on a time scale of tens of days, for the first time, in each of the four systems. Both the structure and amplitude of the variations are roughly the same in the B band and V band in all of the symbiotics in our sample except one (LMC S63), and is most consistent with the idea that the week-time-scale variability originates with the hot component (most likely an accreting white dwarf) rather than the red giant. We compare the variability properties of our small sample of X-ray-bright symbiotic stars to those of samples of both X-ray-bright and X-ray-dim symbiotic stars from the database of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO).

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.