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ID: 10941.0, MPI für Astrophysik / High Energy Astrophysics at MPA
The Milky Way in X-rays for an outside observer - Log(N)-Log(S) and luminosity function of X-ray binaries from RXTE/ASM data
Authors:Grimm, H. J.; Gilfanov, M.; Sunyaev, R.
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2002
Title of Journal:Astronomy & Astrophysics
Journal Abbrev.:Astron. Astrophys.
Volume:391
Issue / Number:3
Start Page:923
End Page:944
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:We study the Log(N)-Log(S) and X-ray luminosity function in the 2-10 keV energy band, and the spatial (3-D) distribution of bright, L-X greater than or equal to 10(34)-10(35) erg s(-1), X-ray binaries in the Milky Way. In agreement with theoretical expectations and earlier results we found significant differences between the spatial distributions of low (LMXB) and high (HMXB) mass X-ray binaries. The volume density of LMXB sources peaks strongly at the Galactic Bulge whereas HMXBs tend to avoid the inner similar to3-4 kpc of the Galaxy. In addition HMXBs are more concentrated towards the Galactic Plane (scale heights of approximate to150 and approximate to410 pc for HMXB and LMXB correspondingly) and show clear signatures of the spiral structure in their spatial distribution. The Log(N)- Log(S) distributions and the X-ray luminosity functions are also noticeably different. LMXB sources have a flatter Log(N)- Log(S) distribution and luminosity function. The integrated 2- 10 keV luminosities of all X-ray binaries in the Galaxy, averaged over 1996-2000, are similar to 2-3 x 10(39) (LMXB) and similar to 2-3 x 10(38) (HMXB) erg s(-1). Normalised to the stellar mass and the star formation rate, respectively, these correspond to similar to 5 x 10(28) erg s(-1) M-.(-1) for LMXBs and similar to 5 x 10(37) erg s(-1)/(M-. yr(-1)) for HMXBs. Due to the shallow slopes of the luminosity functions the integrated emission of X-ray binaries is dominated by the similar to 5-10 most luminous sources which determine the appearance of the Milky Way in the standard X-ray band for an outside observer. In particular variability of individual sources or an outburst of a bright transient source can increase the integrated luminosity of the Milky Way by as much as a factor of similar to 2. Although the average LMXB luminosity function shows a break near the Eddington luminosity for a 1.4 M-. neutron star, at least 12 sources showed episodes of super-Eddington luminosity during ASM observations. We provide the maps of distribution of X-ray binaries in the Milky Way in various projections, which can be compared to images of nearby galaxies taken by CHANDRA and XMM-Newton.
Free Keywords:X-rays : binaries; X-rays : galaxies; Galaxy : general; Galaxy : structure; galaxies : spiral; stars : luminosity function
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astrophysik
External Affiliations:Max Planck Inst Astrophys, Karl Schwarzschild Str 1, D-85748; Garching, Germany; Max Planck Inst Astrophys, D-85748 Garching, Germany
Identifiers:ISI:000177590500013
ISSN:0004-6361
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