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The search for faint high-mass X-ray binaries among hard X-ray sources in the Norma spiral arm

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, November 20, 2015 - 12:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA 10th Floor - Foothills Room

Speaker Name(s): 

Francesca Fornasini

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

UC Berkeley
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysics Lunch Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

High-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs), which consist of a neutron star or black hole accreting material from a massive stellar companion, provide valuable insights into the evolution of massive stars. As satellites such as INTEGRAL have allowed us to discover lower-luminosit​y HMXBs (including the first Be HMXB with a black hole companion), our understanding of the clumpiness of massive stellar winds and the relative importance of different binary evolutionary channels has changed considerably. In order to find and study low-luminosity HMXBs below the INTEGRAL sensitivity, we have performed a survey of a 2°x0.8° region of recent star formation in the Norma spiral arm with Chandra and NuSTAR. This survey was also designed to be complementary to the NuSTAR survey of the Galactic Center, which harbors a much older stellar population. I will describe the best HMXB candidates and the cornucopia of other hard X-ray sources we have discovered in the Norma region, and present a comparison of the Norma and Galactic Center hard X-ray populations.