LMC X-1: A New spectral analysis of the O-star in the binary and surrounding nebula

E. A. Hyde, D. M. Russell, A. Ritter, M. D. Filipović, L. Kaper, K. Grieve, A. N. O’Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide new observations of the LMCX-1 O star and its extended nebula structure using spectroscopic data from VLT/UVES as well as Hα imaging from the Wide Field Imager on the Max Planck Gesellschaft/European Southern Observatory 2.2 m telescope and ATCA imaging of the 2.1 GHz radio continuum. This nebula is one of the few known to be energized by an X-ray binary. We use a new spectrum extraction technique that is superior to other methods used to obtain both radial velocities and fluxes. This provides an updated spatial velocity of ≃21.0 ± 4.8 kms 1 for the O star. The slit encompasses both the photo-ionized and shock-ionized regions of the nebula. The imaging shows a clear arc-like structure reminiscent of a wind bow shock in between the ionization cone and shock-ionized nebula. The observed structure can be fit well by the parabolic shape of a wind bow shock. If an interpretation of a wind bow shock system is valid, we investigate the N159-O1 star cluster as a potential parent of the system, suggesting a progenitor mass of ∼60M for the black hole. We further note that the radio emission could be non-thermal emission from the wind bow shock, or synchrotron emission associated with the jet-inflated nebula. For both wind-and jet-powered origins, this would represent one of the first radio detections of such a structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094201
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number979
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Binaries
  • Black holes-(stars)
  • Evolution-ISM
  • General-stars
  • Jets and outflows
  • Stars
  • Supergiants-stars
  • Winds-outflows-(stars)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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