The Galactic Centre Source IRS 13E: A Post-LBV Wolf-Rayet Colliding Wind Binary?

Robert Coker, University of Leeds
Julian Pittard, University of Leeds
Joel H. Kastner, Rochester Institute of Technology

This is the pre-print of an article published by EDP Sciences. The final, published version is available here:

Reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophyics, © 2002 ESO

Also archived in: arXiv: astro-ph/0112029 v1 3 Dec 2001

This work was supported by PPARC and has made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service. We gratefully acknowledge helpful discussions with R. Oudmaijer, M. Hoare, S. Stolovy, and J.-P. Maillard.

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.


IRS 13E is an infrared, mm and X-ray source in the Galactic Centre. We present the first Chandra X-ray spectrum for IRS 13E and show that it is consistent with a luminous and highly absorbed X-ray binary system. Since the X-ray luminosity is too large for a solitary star, our interpretation is that of an early-type long-period binary with strong colliding winds emission. This naturally explains the observed X-ray spectrum and count rate as well as its lack of significant short term variability. Due to the short lifetime of any nebula 0:2 pc from the putative central super-massive black-hole, we argue that the primary of IRS 13E has exited the LBV phase in the last few thousand years.