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The bizarre spectrum of SS 433
Margon, B.; Ford, H. C.; Katz, J. I.; Kwitter, K. B.; Ulrich, R. K.; Stone, R. P. S.; Klemola, A.
AA(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, Calif.), AB(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, Calif.), AC(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor, vol. 230, May 15, 1979, p. L41-L45. (ApJL Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Spectroscopy, Binary Stars, Radio Sources (Astronomy), Spectrophotometry, Variable Stars, X Ray Sources, Balmer Series, Emission Spectra, Helium Atoms, Nonthermal Radiation, Stellar Magnitude
Bibliographic Code:


Results are reported for extensive spectrophotometric observations, over the wavelength range from 3800 to 7800 A, of the peculiar 14th-mag emission-line object Stephenson-Sanduleak (SS) 433, which has been identified with a variable nonthermal radio source and is positionally coincident with the X-ray source A1909+04. It is found that the spectrum is dominated by intense variable Balmer and He I emission, that three of the He I lines have very prominent P Cygni profiles, and that virtually all the emission features undergo changes in equivalent width on a time scale of days. Anomalous emission features are described which consist of three previously unreported, very strong, broad emission lines at unfamiliar wavelengths in the green, red, and IR, and which vary nightly in intensity, profile, and wavelength. SS 433 is inferred to be a luminous object with an absolute visual magnitude of -3.1 or brighter.

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