Optical spectroscopy of the low-mass X-ray binary GX 9+9

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Cornelisse, R. ; Steeghs, D. ; Casares, J. ; Charles, P. A. ; Barnes, A. D. ; Hynes, R. I. ; O'Brien, K. (2007)

Phase-resolved medium-resolution VLT spectroscopy of the low-mass X-ray binary GX 9+9 has revealed narrow C ill emission lines that move in phase relative to our new estimate of the ephemeris, and show a velocity amplitude of 230 +/not superset of 35 km s(-1). We identify the origin of these lines as coming from the surface of the donor star, thereby providing the first estimate of the mass function of f(M-1) >= 0.22 M-circle dot. Rotational broadening estimates together with assumptions for the mass donor give 0.07 <= q <= 0.35 and 182 <= K-2 <= 406 km s(-1). Despite a low-mass ratio, there is no evidence for a superhump in our data set. Doppler maps of GX 9+9 show the presence of a stream overflow, either in the form of material flowing downward along the accretion disc rim or in a similar fashion as occurs in high mass transfer rate cataclysmic variables known as the SW Sex stars. Finally, we note that the Bowen region in GX 9+9 is dominated by C in instead of N III emission as has been the case for most other X-ray binaries.
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