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Distribution of High-mass X-Ray Binaries in the Milky Way

Distribution of High-mass X-Ray Binaries in the Milky Way

Publication date: 06 February 2013

Authors: Coleiro, A. and Chaty, S.

Journal: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 764
Issue: 2
Page: 185
Year: 2013

Copyright: IOP Publishing

Observations of the high-energy sky, particularly with the INTEGRAL satellite, have quadrupled the number of supergiant X-ray binaries observed in the Galaxy and revealed new populations of previously hidden high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs), raising new questions about their formation and evolution. The number of detected HMXBs of different types is now high enough to allow us to carry out a statistical analysis of their distribution in the Milky Way. For the first time, we derive the distance and absorption of a sample of HMXBs using a spectral energy distribution fitting procedure, and we examine the correlation with the distribution of star-forming complexes (SFCs) in the Galaxy. We show that HMXBs are clustered with SFCs with a typical cluster size of 0.3 ± 0.05 kpc and a characteristic distance between clusters of 1.7 ± 0.3 kpc. Furthermore, we present an investigation of the expected offset between the position of spiral arms and HMXBs, allowing us to constrain age and migration distance due to supernova kick for 13 sources. These new methods will allow us to assess the influence of the environment on these high-energy objects with unprecedented reliability.

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