Classification of X-ray sources in the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalog: objects of special interest.
LIN D., WEBB N.A. and BARRET D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We analyze 18 sources that showed interesting properties of periodicity, very soft spectra, and/or large long-term variability in X-rays in our project of classification of sources from the 2XMMi-DR3 catalog, but were poorly studied in the literature, in order to investigate their nature. Two hard sources show X-ray periodicities of ∼1.62 hr (2XMM J165334.4-414423) and ∼2.1 hr (2XMM J133135.2-315541) and are probably magnetic cataclysmic variables. One source, 2XMM J123103.2+110648, is an active galactic nucleus (AGN) candidate showing very soft X-ray spectra (kT ∼ 0.1 keV) and exhibiting an intermittent ∼3.8 hr quasi-periodic oscillation. There are six other very soft sources (with kT < 0.2 keV), which might be in other galaxies with luminosities between ∼1038-1042 erg/s. They probably represent a diverse group that might include objects such as ultrasoft AGNs and cool thermal disk emission from accreting intermediate-mass black holes. Six highly variable sources with harder spectra are probably in nearby galaxies with luminosities above 1037 erg/s and thus are great candidates for extragalactic X-ray binaries. One of them (2XMMi J004211.2+410429, in M31) is probably a new-born persistent source, having been X-ray bright and hard in 0.3-10 keV for at least four years since it was discovered entering an outburst in 2007. Three highly variable hard sources appear at low galactic latitudes and have maximum luminosities below ∼1034 erg/s if they are in our Galaxy. Thus, they are great candidates for cataclysmic variables or very faint X-ray transients harboring a black hole or neutron star. Our interpretations of these sources can be tested with future long-term X-ray monitoring and multi-wavelength observations.