SIMBAD references

1998ApJ...499..650I - Astrophys. J., 499, 650-669 (1998/June-1)

ROSAT X-ray colors and emission mechanisms in early-type galaxies.


Abstract (from CDS):

The X-ray colors and X-ray-to-optical luminosity ratios (LX/LB) of 61 early-type galaxies observed with the ROSAT PSPC are determined. The colors indicate that the X-ray spectral properties of galaxies vary as a function of LX/LB. The brightest X-ray galaxies have colors that are consistent with thermal emission from hot gas with roughly the same metallicity of 50% solar. The spatial variation of the colors indicates that the gas temperature in these galaxies increases radially. Galaxies with medium LX/LB also have spectral properties consistent with emission from hot gas. If a simple one-component thermal model is assumed to describe the 0.1-2.0 keV X-ray emission in these galaxies, then one possible explanation for the progressive decrease in LX/LB among galaxies of this class could be the progressive decrease in metal abundance of the X-ray-emitting gas contained by the galaxies. However, stellar X-ray emission may become a complicating factor for the fainter galaxies in this medium-LX/LB class.

Galaxies with the lowest LX/LB values appear to be lacking a hot interstellar component. Their X-ray colors are consistent with those derived from the bulges of the spiral galaxies M31 and NGC 1291. In M31, the X-ray emission is resolved into discrete sources and is apparently due primarily to low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). We therefore suggest that the bulk of the X-ray emission in the faintest elliptical galaxies is also due to LMXBs. Previously, the X-ray spectra of X-ray-faint galaxies had been found to be described by a hard component, which was attributed to LMXB emission, and a very soft component of unknown origin. We show that the very soft component also likely results from LMXBs, as a very soft component is seen in the X-ray spectra of the nearby LMXB Her X-1 and LMXBs in the bulge of M31. If the X-ray emission in X-ray-faint galaxies is primarily from stellar sources, then a range in LX/LB among these galaxies suggests that the stellar X-ray luminosity does not scale with optical luminosity, at least for galaxies of low optical luminosities. This could be the result of a decrease in the proportion of LMXBs with decreasing optical luminosity and/or the effects of fluctuations in the small number of LMXBs expected.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxies: Abundances - Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: Halos - Galaxies: ISM - X-Rays: Galaxies - X-Rays: ISM

Status at CDS:  

Simbad objects: 71

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