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Astronomy & Astrophysics manuscript no. (will be inserted by hand later) Resolving the Galactic X-ray background

By M. Revnivtsev, A. Vikhlinin and S. Sazonov


Abstract. We use Chandra deep observations of the Galactic Center (GC) region to improve the constraints on the unresolved fraction of the Galactic X-ray background (also known as the Galactic ridge X-ray emission). We emphasize the importance of correcting the measured source counts at low fluxes for bias associated with Poisson noise. We find that at distances of 2 ′ –4 ′ from Sgr A ∗ at least ∼ 40 % of the total X-ray emission in the energy band 4–8 keV originates from point sources with luminosities L2−10 keV> 10 31 erg s −1. From a comparison of the source number-flux function in the GC region with the known luminosity function of faint X-ray sources in the Solar vicinity, we infer that Chandra has already resolved a large fraction of the cumulative contribution of cataclysmic variables to the total X-ray flux from the GC region. This comparison further indicates that most of the yet unresolved ∼ 60 % of the X-ray flux from the GC region is likely produced by weak cataclysmic variables and coronally active stars with L2−10 keV < 10 31 erg s −1. We conclude that the bulk of the Galactic X-ray background is produced by discrete sources

Year: 2006
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