Three Additional Quiescent Low-Mass X-ray Binary Candidates in 47 Tucanae
Heinke, C. O.
Grindlay, J. E.
Edmonds, P. D.
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CitationHeinke, C. O., J. E. Grindlay, and P. D. Edmonds. 2005. “Three Additional Quiescent Low‐Mass X‐Ray Binary Candidates in 47 Tucanae.” The Astrophysical Journal 622 (1): 556–64. https://doi.org/10.1086/427795.
AbstractWe identify through their X-ray spectra one certain (W37) and two probable (W17 and X4) quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (qLMXBs) containing neutron stars in a long Chandra X-ray exposure of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, in addition to the two previously known qLMXBs. W37's spectrum is dominated by a blackbody-like component consistent with radiation from the hydrogen atmosphere of a 10 km neutron star. W37's light curve shows strong X-ray variability, which we attribute to variations in its absorbing column depth, and eclipses with a probable 3.087 hr period. For most of our exposures, W37's blackbody-like emission ( assumed to be from the neutron star surface) is almost completely obscured, yet some soft X-rays ( of uncertain origin) remain. Two additional candidates, W17 and X4, present X-ray spectra dominated by a harder component, fitted by a power law of photon index similar to 1.6-3. An additional soft component is required for bothW17 and X4, which can be fitted with a 10 km hydrogen atmosphere neutron star model. X4 shows significant variability, which may arise from either its power-law or hydrogen atmosphere spectral component. Both W17 and X4 show rather low X-ray luminosities, L-X(0.5-10 keV) similar to 5 x 10(31) ergs s(-1). All three candidate qLMXBs would be difficult to identify in other globular clusters, suggesting an additional reservoir of fainter qLMXBs in globular clusters that may be of similar numbers as the group of previously identified objects. The number of millisecond pulsars inferred to exist in 47 Tuc is less than 10 times larger than the number of qLMXBs in 47 Tuc, indicating that for typical inferred lifetimes of 10 and 1 Gyr, respectively, their birthrates are comparable.
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