Optical Monitoring of Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries with the Faulkes Telescopes
Time Domain Astronomy with Robotic Telescopes: the Science that Drives the Technology
Fraser Lewis
Faulkes Telescope Project, National Schools' Observatory
Dave Russell (University of New York Abu Dhabi), Paul Roche (Faulkes Telescope Project)
We present results from the long-term optical monitoring (~10 years) of ~ 40 Low-Mass X-ray Binaries (LMXBs) with the robotic Faulkes Telescopes (FTs). These objects comprise a donor star (typically K- or M-type) in orbit with a compact object which is either a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole.

With 2-metre apertures, these telescopes are ideal for studying the accretion process within these systems, both in quiescence and outburst. These objects possess several regions which emit in the optical and near infra-red including the donor star, accretion disc and jets. Colour changes allow us to identify the varying contributions of these regions while short-term studies of these objects allow us to study variability in the optical (Bessel-V, Bessel-R, SDSS-i') and compare with their behaviour in X-ray and radio regimes.

We also note the additional capabilities provided to us by the wider network of LCOGT 1-metre telescopes, which is now available to the FT Project and its educational users. These allow for longer, more intensive studies in particular when these objects are in outburst (with typical magnitudes ~ 15 -16).


13:30 - 15:00