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New Source Discovered by RXTE PCA Scans: XTE J1701-407

ATEL # 1569; C. B. Markwardt (CRESST/U.Md./NASA/GSFC); D. Pereira (NASA/GSFC/WYLE); J. H. Swank (NASA/GSFC)
on 10 Jun 2008; 20:55 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice (Transients)
Password Certification: Craig B. Markwardt (

Subjects: X-ray, Request for Observations, Binaries, Black Holes, Neutron Stars, Transients
Referred to by ATEL #: 1572

RXTE PCA scans of the galactic ridge region detected a new source. Based on a PCA bulge scan of 2008-06-08 at 14:00 UTC, the best fit position is (RA,Dec) = (255.38,-40.78) with a position error of approximately 10 arcmin (radius, 95% confidence). We designate this source XTE J1701-407.

In the PCA scan, the flux was about 8 mCrab (2-10 keV). A dedicated follow-up pointed PCA observation on 2008-06-09 at 19:20 UTC also detected the source, again at a flux of about 8 mCrab, suggesting that the flux is approximately constant. Based on evidence from the PCA bulge scans, the pointed flux is contaminated by emission from the galactic ridge, approx 2 mCrab, which has already been subtracted from the above value. In the long term bulge scans, we can set upper limits of 1.1 mCrab and 2.2 mCrab on June 1 and 4, respectively.

The spectrum of the pointed observation is consistent with an absorbed power law, photon index 2.2 and neutral absorption column of 3.4e22 cm-2. The approximate fluxes are 1.4e-10 and 6.3e-11 erg cm-2 s-1 in the 2-10 and 10-20 keV bands respectively, without subtracting any estimated contamination.

No obvious pulsations or other variability were detected. No previously known sources were found within the error circle in Simbad, or previous X-ray missions.

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