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Centaurus X-3An X-ray binary, the first of its type, discovered by the Uhuru satellite in 1971. The binary nature was determined from the observation of regular X-ray eclipses with a period of 2.09 days; in 1974 the optical companion star was identified as a 13th magnitude supergiant of spectral type O6.5, establishing Centaurus X-3 as a high-mass X-ray binary, or HMXB. Rapid pulsation of the X-ray source at a 4.8 second period is associated with the rotation of a magnetized neutron star. It may thus be regarded as an X-ray pulsar.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
Centaurus X-3[sen′tȯr·əs ‚eks ′thrē]
A source of x-rays that pulses with a period of 4.8 seconds and is eclipsed every 2.1 days; believed to be a binary star, one of whose members is a rotating neutron star. Abbreviated Cen X-3.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.