Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 382, 843-859 (2002/2-2)
X-ray spectral components of starburst galaxies.
PERSIC M. and REPHAELI Y.
Abstract (from CDS):
X-ray emission processes in starburst galaxies (SBGs) are assessed, with the aim of identifying and characterizing the main spectral components. Our survey of spectral properties, complemented with a model for the evolution of galactic stellar populations, leads to the prediction of a complex spectrum. Comparing the predicted spectral properties with current X-ray measurements of the nearby SBGs M82 and N253, we draw the following tentative conclusions: 1) X-ray binaries with accreting neutron stars are the main contributors in the 2-15keV band, and could be responsible for the yet uninterpreted hard component required to fit the observed 0.5-10keV spectra of SBGs; 2) diffuse thermal plasma contributes at energies ≲1keV; 3) nonthermal emission, from Compton scattering of FIR and CMB radiation fields photons off supernova-accelerated relativistic electrons, and AGN-like emission, are likely be the dominant emission at energies >30keV; 4) supernova remnants make a relatively minor contribution to the X-ray continuum but may contribute appreciably to the Fe-K emission at 6.7keV.