The Astrophysical Journal
The American Astronomical Society
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 Galatic 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 extinguised by Av ~ 19.2 mag, primarily by the general interstellar medium. We argue that the supergiants are likely gravitationally bround. 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.
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