NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0484

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0484


PI: Curtis DeWitt, University of Florida, dewitt@astro.ufl.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

CoI: Reba M. Bandyopadhyay, University of Florida
CoI: Stephen S. Eikenberry, University of Florida
CoI: Robert Blum, NOAO
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Kris Sellgren, Ohio State University
CoI: Franz E. Bauer, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Title: Spectroscopic follow-up of NIR candidate counterparts to Galactic Center X-ray sources

Abstract: The \textit Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered 4339 X-ray point sources within the 17\arcmin^2 field centered on Sgr A^*. Nearly a dozen of the brighter near-IR (NIR) counterparts in this region have been spectroscopically identified as Wolf-Rayet/O supergiants, possibly in colliding wind binaries or high mass X-ray binaries. However, the nature of the X-ray sources whose candidate counterparts have IR magnitudes of K_s > 12 mag is almost completely unknown. We utilized our \it JHK ISPI imaging of this 17\arcmin^2 region to create a catalog of NIR/X-ray astrometric matches with 2205 X-ray/IR sources. Using Monte-Carlo simulations, we identified 88 IR sources that have a high probability of being true counterparts to Galactic Center (GC) X-ray sources. We propose to obtain \textitJHK spectra of 28 potential IR counterparts with K_s=12-14 mag. Our analysis suggests that half of these objects will be true physical counterparts. Definitive identification of the X-ray source counterparts will help probe a previously unknown segment of the GC X-ray source population, and will have important implications for our understanding of XRBs in the Galaxy, including their formation, evolutionary history, and physical characteristics.


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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