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 journalArticle


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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    Corral-Santana, J. M., Torres, M. A. P., Shahbaz, T., Bartlett, E. S., Russell, D. M., Albert, K. H. K., Casares, J., Muñoz-Darias, T., Bauer, F. E., Homan, J., Peter, G. J., Daniel Mata Śanchez, M. Ś., Wevers, T., Pablo Rodŕiguez-Gil, R-G., Lewis, F., & Schreuder, L. (2018). The long-term optical evolution of the black hole candidate MAXIJ1659-152. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 475(1), 1036-1045. [stx3156].