X-Ray Properties of the Point Source Population in the Spiral Galaxy NGC 5055 (M63) with Chandra

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

Scientific paper

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14 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in ChJAA

Scientific paper

10.1088/1009-9271/7/3/02

By analyzing the Chandra ACIS S3 data we studied the X-ray properties of the low-mass and high-mass X-ray binary populations in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 5055. A total of 43 X-ray point sources were detected within the 2 effective radii, with 31 sources located on the disk and the rest 12 sources in the bulge. The resolved point sources dominate the total X-ray emission of the galaxy by accounting for about 80% of the total counts in 0.3--10 keV. By carrying out the spectral fittings we calculated the 0.3--10.0 keV luminosities of all the detected X-ray point sources and found that they span a wide range from a few 10^{37} erg s^{-1} to over 10^{39} erg s^{-1}. After compensating for the incompleteness at the low luminosity end, we find that the corrected XLF of the bulge population is well fitted with a broken power-law model with a break at 1.57^{+0.21}_{-0.20}\times 10^{38} erg s^{-1}, while the profile of the disk population's XLF agrees with a single power-law distribution with a slope of 0.93^{+0.07}_{-0.06}. The disk population is significantly richer at {}^{>}_{\sim}2\times10^{38} erg s^{-1} than the bulge population, inferring that the disk may have undergone relatively recent, strong starbursts that significantly increased the HMXB population, although ongoing starbursts are also observed in the nuclear region. Similar XLF profiles of the bulge and disk populations were found in M81. However, in most other spiral galaxies different patterns of the spatial variation of the XLF profiles from the bulge to the disk have been observed, indicating that the star formation and evolution history may be more complex than we have expected.

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