© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. We report on the discovery of a new X-ray pulsator, Swift J201424.9+152930 (Sw J2014). Owing to its X-ray modulation at 491 s, it was discovered in a systematic search for coherent signals in the archival data of the Swift X-ray Telescope. To investigate the nature of Sw J2014, we performed multiwavelength follow-up observations with space-borne (Swift and XMM- Newton) and ground-based (the 1.5-m Loiano Telescope and the 3.6-m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo) instruments. The X-ray spectrum of Sw J2014 can be described by a hard and highly absorbed (N<inf>H</inf> ~ 5 × 10<sup>22</sup> cm<sup>-2</sup>) power law (Γ ~ 1). The optical observations made it possible to single out the optical counterpart to this source, which displays several variable emission lines and total eclipses lasting ≈20 min. Total eclipses of similar length were observed also in X-rays. The study of the eclipses, allowed us to infer a second periodicity of 3.44 h, which we interpret as the orbital period of a close binary system. We also found that the period has not significantly changed over a ~7 yr timespan. Based on the timing signatures of Sw J2014, and its optical and X-ray spectral properties, we suggest that it is a close binary hosting an accreting magnetic white dwarf. The system is therefore a cataclysmic variable of the intermediate polar type and one of the very few showing deep eclipses.
- Novae, cataclysmic variables
- White dwarfs
- X-rays: binaries
- X-rays: individual: Swift J201424.9+152930