NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0410

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0410


PI: Robert Hynes, Louisiana State University, rih@phys.lsu.edu
Address: Physics Department, 202 Nicholson Hall, Tower Drive, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

CoI: Chris Britt, Louisiana State University
CoI: Peter Jonker, SRON, NL
CoI: Gijs Nelemans, Radboud University, NL
CoI: Danny Steeghs, The University of Warwick, UK
CoI: Tom Maccarone, The University of Southampton, UK
CoI: Cees Bassa, The University of Manchester, UK
CoI: Valerie Mikles, Louisiana State University
CoI: Lauren Gossen, Louisiana State University

Title: Eclipsing and Variable X-ray Binaries in the Galactic Bulge Survey

Abstract: The Chandra Galactic Bulge Survey has identified 1698 faint X-ray sources in the Galactic Bulge. As the fields lie above and below the main body of Galactic plane extinction, these objects are also accessible optically and approximately 1200 have identified optical counterparts with a manageable degree of crowding. We expect most to be interacting binaries including ~400 mostly quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries. We will obtain time-resolved optical photometry of these objects using Mosaic-II, measuring orbital periods and identifying high inclination, especially eclipsing objects. Using the wide field of Mosaic-II to obtain lightcurves simultaneously in this way is the most efficient way to follow-up the objects, much more so than observations of individual objects. Identifying orbital periods will be crucial for testing the population synthesis predictions for the source populations, and high inclination quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries will be followed up in detail to obtain component masses. In particular, there is an excellent likelihood that this project will lead to identification of the first dynamically confirmed eclipsing black hole binary in our Galaxy.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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