Vol 7, No 3

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

Bing Luo, Ji-Yao Chen, Zhong-Li Zhang, Yu Wang, Jing-Ying Wang, Hai-Guang Xu


Abstract Using Chandra ACIS S3 data we studied the X-ray properties of low-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 two effective radii, with 31 sources located on the disk and the rest 12 sources in the bulge. The resolved point sources dominate the X-ray emission of the galaxy, accounting for about 80% of the total counts in 0.3–10 keV. From 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 times 1037 erg s−1 to over 1039 erg s−1. After compensating for incompleteness at the low luminosity end, we found that the corrected XLF of the bulge population is well fitted with a broken power-law with a break at 1.57+0.21−0.20×1038 erg s−1, while the profile of the disk population's XLF agrees with a single power-law distribution of slope 0.93+0.07−0.06. The disk population is significantly richer at 2×1038 erg s−1 than the bulge population, indicating 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 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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