Photometry and spectroscopy of the new symbiotic star 2SXPS J173508.4-292958

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U. Munari (INAF Padova), P. Valisa, A. Vagnozzi, S. Dallaporta, F. J. Hambsch, A. Frigo (ANS Collaboration)

We present and discuss the results of our photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of 2SXPS J173508.4-292958 carried out from April to August 2020. This X-ray source, in the foreground with respect to the Galactic center, brightened in X-rays during 2020, prompting our follow-up optical observations. We found the star to contain a K4III giant with a modest but highly variable Halpha emission, composed by a ~470 km/s wide component with superimposed a narrow absorption, offset by a positive velocity with respect to the giant. No orbital motion is detected for the K4III, showing an heliocentric radial velocity stable at -12(+/-1) km/s. No flickering in excess of 0.005 mag in B band was observed at three separate visits of 2SXPS J173508.4-292958. While photometrically stable in 2016 through 2018, in 2019 the star developed a limited photometric variability, that in 2020 took the form of a sinusoidal modulation with a period of 38 days and an amplitude of 0.12 mag in V band. We argue this variability cannot be ascribed to Roche-lobe filling by the K4III star. No correlation is observed between the photometric variability and the amount of emission in Halpha, the latter probably originating directly from the accretion disk around the accreting companion. While no emission from dust is detected at mid-IR wavelengths, an excess in U-band is probably present and caused by direct emission from the accretion disk. We conclude that 2SXPS J173508.4-292958 is a new symbiotic star of the accreting-only variety (AO-SySt).

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