NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0376

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Program Information for 2017A-0376


PI: Jimmy Irwin, University of Alabama, jairwin@ua.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 206 Gallalee Hall, Box 870324, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487-0324 USA

CoI: Aaron Romanowsky, San Jose State U.
CoI: Walter Maksym, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Dacheng Lin, U. of New Hampshire

Title: A New Type of Explosive Highly Energetic X-ray Flaring Source

Abstract: We have discovered a new type of brief but very energetic flaring phenomenon in two X-ray sources believed to be associated with extragalactic globular clusters. These flares reach X-ray luminosities two orders of magnitude larger than the Eddington limit of a neutron star yet the process does not destroy the object. If their optical counterparts can be confirmed to be globular clusters around other galaxies, they represent the most energetic sources ever discovered in globular clusters. On a broader scale, these sources will join soft gamma repeaters and anomalous X-ray pulsars as the only astrophysical sources that flare by factors of >100 above the Eddington limit of a neutron star on time scales less than one minute without destroying the object. Here, we propose to obtain a Gemini-N GMOS spectrum of the optical counterpart of the more extreme of the two sources to determine if it is associated with an extragalactic globular cluster of NGC4636, in order to confirm its distance and extreme luminosity.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017A):  GEM-NQ/GMOSN -- 10hrs band 2 (GN-2017A-Q-45)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0376

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