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The X-ray Source Population of the Andromeda Galaxy M 31

To investigate the X-ray source population of the Andromeda galaxy M 31, a deep homogeneous X-ray survey of this galaxy using XMM-Newton down to a limiting point source luminosity of 1035 erg s-1 is performed which includes all active X-ray binaries (XRBs). M 31 is a milestone project for X-ray astronomy. Given its proximity it is the ultimate target for a detailed X-ray inventory of an archetypal low-star-formation-rate galaxy like our own.
M 31 XRBs and globular cluster sources (GCSs), supersoft sources (SSSs), supernova remnants (SNRs) and the hot interstellar medium (ISM) are studied in contrast to foreground and background objects. The observations provide high quality spectra and light curves, allowing source classification through the power density spectra and modeling of their spectral energy distributions. The population characteristics of high and low mass XRBs (HMXBs, LMXBs) provide independent constraints on the star formation history of M 31, the Local Group in general, as well as constraints on the formation channels of compact objects.

The observations started in June 2006.

W. Pietsch, MPE Garching

R. Barnard, Open University, UK
V. Burwitz, MPE
M. Freyberg, MPE
J. Greiner, MPE
F. Haberl, MPE
D. Hatzidimitriou, University of Crete, Greece
M. Hernanz, IEEC, Spain
G. Israel, INAF, Italy
U. Kolb, Open University
A. Kong, MIT
P. Reig, University of Crete
G. Sala, MPE
M. Sasaki, CfA, P. Plucinsky, CfA
L. Shaw Greening, Open University
B. Williams, University of Washington

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Last update: 2010-02-01 by   linkH. Steinle
Contact person:   linkW. Pietsch and   linkF. Haberl
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