AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 27. White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars
Oral, Monday, January 7, 2002, 10:00-11:30am, Jefferson West

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[27.04] Discovery of the Orbital Period of the Bursting and Dipping Source XTE J1710-281

C. B. Markwardt (U. Maryland & NASA GSFC), J. H. Swank, T. E. Strohmayer (NASA GSFC)

The galactic bulge source XTE J1710--281 was discovered in 1998 serendipitously by the RXTE Proportional Counter Array (PCA) instrument, and is probably the ROSAT source 1RXS J171012.3--280754. In subsequent short bulge monitoring observations it was found to be faint but highly variable, with a recurrence time scale of about 30 days.

We present results of a recent long contiguous observation of XTE J1710--281. While orbital modulation of the X-ray intensity was previously suggested by short PCA observations, the new observation confirms the orbital period of 3.28 hr, based on unambiguous detections of eclipses with 410 second duration. Four X-ray bursts were detected, the brightest of which --- if the neutron star is unobscured and at Eddington luminosity --- would place the source at a distance of 15--20 kpc.

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