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Astrophysics Luncheon Seminar

A Catalogue of the X-ray Binary Population of Nearby Galaxies (and some of the things we found inside)
Presented by Hannah Earnshaw
California Institute of Technology

Monday, September 10, 2018
12:00 noon in 169-336

In order to understand X-ray binaries on a population level, including the brightest and most extreme ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs), it is necessary to construct a catalogue of such objects that is as large as possible with minimal contamination. Using the 3XMM-DR4 data release of the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue, and a method based on that of Walton et al. (2011), we create a new catalogue of extragalactic X-ray binaries. We study the X-ray color properties and luminosities of the catalogue ULXs and find them in support of previous results that suggest that the population of ULXs is more luminous in star-forming galaxies than in non-star-forming galaxies. We also use the catalogue as an astronomical treasure chest, searching for interesting sub-classes of object with unusual properties. In particular, searching for variable and transient ULXs has led to the discovery of a number of fascinating sources, including candidate neutron star ULXs, which allow us to probe the extremes of super-Eddington accretion onto compact objects using XMM-Newton, Chandra and NuSTAR.

JPL Contact: Jacqueline McCleary (4-9886)

SVCP Astrophysics

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