E. Kuulkers, A. Parmar, S. Kitamoto
Jun 13, 1997
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
We present data from different epochs in 1978, 1987-1991 and 1996 from the black-hole candidate 4U1630-47. For the first time we present almost complete coverage of the outbursts which started in 1987, 1988 and 1996. We find that the outburst behaviour of 4U1630-47 is more complex than previously realized. The source shows outbursts with durations on the order of ~100-200 days and sometimes intervals of long-term X-ray activity. The relatively short outbursts which occurred in 1987 and 1996 exhibited different colour behaviour: the outburst in 1987 showed softening of the X-ray spectrum, whereas the outburst in 1996 showed hardening of the X-ray spectrum, as the outbursts proceeded. The outburst which started in 1977 may have lasted for up to ~10 months, whereas the outburst which started in 1988 showed activity for up to ~2.4 years. Such long-term activity is reminiscent of that seen in GRS1716-249 and in the galactic superluminal sources GRS1915+105 and GROJ1655-40. We refine the outburst ephemeris of 4U\1630-47 and find that the outburst recurrence time scale may have changed from ~600 days to ~690 days between the 1984 and 1987 outbursts. If the recurrence interval of ~690 days continues, the next outburst of 4U1630-47 is predicted to occur in 1998 January.