The long-term optical evolution of the black hole candidate MAXIJ1659-152

Jesús M. Corral-Santana, Manuel A.P. Torres, Tariq Shahbaz, Elizabeth S. Bartlett, David M. Russell, K. H.Kong Albert, Jorge Casares, Teodoro Muñoz-Darias, Franz E. Bauer, Jeroen Homan, G. Jonker Peter, Mata Śanchez Daniel Mata Śanchez, Thomas Wevers, Rodŕiguez-Gil Pablo Rodŕiguez-Gil, Fraser Lewis, Laurien Schreuder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present 5 yr of optical and infrared data of the black hole candidate MAXI J1659-152 covering its 2010 outburst, decay, and quiescence. Combining optical data taken during the outburst decay, we obtain an orbital period of 2.414 ± 0.005 h, in perfect agreement with the value previously measured from X-ray dips. In addition, we detect a clear Ha excess in MAXI J1659-152 with data taken during the outburst decay. We also detect a single hump modulation most likely produced by irradiation. Assuming that the maximum occurs at orbital phase 0.5, we constrain the phase of the X-ray dips to be ~0.65. We also detect the quiescent optical counterpart at r' = 24.20 ± 0.08, I = 23.32 ± 0.02, and H = 20.7 ± 0.1. These magnitudes provide colour indices implying an M2-M5 donor star assuming 60 per cent contribution from a disc component in the r' band.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberstx3156
Pages (from-to)1036-1045
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 21 2018


  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: black holes
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: individual: MAXI J1659-152

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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