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Further studies of the pulsation period and orbital elements of Centaurus X-3
Fabbiano, G.; Schreier, E. J.
AA(Harvard College Observatory and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass.), AB(Harvard College Observatory and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass.)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 214, May 15, 1977, p. 235-244. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Eclipsing Binary Stars, Neutron Stars, Orbital Elements, X Ray Sources, Astronomical Models, B Stars, Eccentricity, Giant Stars, Mass Transfer, Stellar Rotation
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The long- and short-term variability of the 4.8-s pulsation and the 2.1-day orbital periods of Centaurus X-3 are studied. The pulsation period decreases over 4 yr with a fractional change of -0.00028 per yr, but with rms fluctuations of 0.0002 s. In August-September 1972, a continuous transition from speedup to slowdown was observed. The orbital period also decreases over 4 yr with decrease of approximately 8 millionths per yr, and with significant fluctuations of the order of 0.00001 day over months. The orbital eccentricity is found to be about 0.0008. The pulsation-period variability is found to be consistent with a near balance between the Alfven and corotation radii in an accretion-disk model. The orbital-period variability is interpreted in terms of tidal circularization and possible mass transfer and loss.

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