We report the results of an extensive set of optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of the double infrared source reported by Hartmann et al. (1995) as a potential counterpart for the Galactic soft gamma-ray repeater SGR 1900+14. These objects are found to be variable but otherwise normal M5 supergiant stars at a distance of ≈ 12-15 kpc and extinguished by Av ≈ 19.2 mag, primarily by the general interstellar medium. We argue that the supergiants are likely gravitationally bound. These stars are positionally coincident with both quiescent X-ray and IRAS sources, suggestive of a yet-undetected third component to the system which may be responsible for the SGR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Gamma rays: bursts
- Gamma rays: observations