We present an analysis of the two-point spatial correlation functions of high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) and young star cluster (YSC) populations in M31 and M33. We find evidence that HMXBs are spatially correlated with YSCs to a higher degree than would be expected from random chance in both galaxies. When supplemented with similar studies in the Milky Way, Small Magellanic Cloud, and NGC 4449, we find that the peak value of the spatial correlation function correlates strongly with the specific star formation rate of the host galaxy. We additionally perform an X-ray stacking analysis of 211 non-X-ray detected YSCs in M31 and 463 YSCs in M33. We do not detect excess X-ray emission at the stacked cluster locations down to 3σ upper limits of ∼1033 erg s−1 (0.35–8 keV) in both galaxies, which strongly suggests that dynamical formation within YSCs is not a major HMXB formation channel. We interpret our results in the context of (1) the recent star formation histories of the galaxies, which may produce differences in the demographics of compact objects powering the HMXBs, and (2) the differences in natal kicks experienced by compact objects during formation, which can eject newly formed HMXBs from their birth clusters.
We present multiwavelength characterization of 65 high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) candidates in M33. We use the Chandra ACIS survey of M33 (ChASeM33) catalog to select hard X-ray point sources that are spatially coincident with UV-bright point-source optical counterparts in the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury: Triangulum Extended Region catalog, which covers the inner disk of M33 at near-IR, optical, and near-UV wavelengths. We perform spectral energy distribution fitting on multiband photometry for each point-source optical counterpart to measure its physical properties including mass, temperature, luminosity, and radius. We find that the majority of the HMXB companion star candidates are likely B-type main-sequence stars, suggesting that the HMXB population of M33 is dominated by Be X-ray binaries (Be-XRBs), as is seen in other Local Group galaxies. We use spatially resolved recent star formation history maps of M33 to measure the age distribution of the HMXB candidate sample and the HMXB production rate for M33. We find a bimodal distribution for the HMXB production rate over the last 80 Myr, with a peak at ∼10 and ∼40 Myr, which match theoretical formation timescales for the most massive HMXBs and Be-XRBs, respectively. We measure an HMXB production rate of 107–136 HMXBs/(
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- The Astrophysical Journal
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Article No. 114
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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