Using various space observatories, Italian astronomers have investigated an X-ray binary source known as IGR J18214-1318. Results of the study, detailed in a paper published September 14 on the arXiv pre-print server, provide important information about the properties of this system, shedding more light into its nature.
X-ray binaries consist of a normal star or a white dwarf transferring mass onto a compact neutron star or a black hole. Based on the mass of the companion star, astronomers divide them into low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs).
IGR J18214-1318 is an HMXB detected with the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) satellite in 2006. The object is associated to USNO-B1.0 0766-0475700—most likely a star of spectral type O9I.