Candidate Hα emission and absorption line sources in the Galactic Bulge Survey

T. Wevers, P. G. Jonker, G. Nelemans, M. A.P. Torres, P. J. Groot, D. Steeghs, T. J. Maccarone, R. I. Hynes, C. Heinke, C. Britt

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6 Scopus citations


We present a catalogue of candidate Hα emission and absorption line sources and blue objects in the Galactic Bulge Survey (GBS) region.We use a point source catalogue of the GBS fields (two strips of (l × b) = (6° × 1°) centred at b = 1. ° 5 above and below the Galactic Centre), covering the magnitude range 16 ≤ r' ≤ 22.5. We utilize (r' - i', r' - Hα) colour-colour diagrams to select Hα emission and absorption line candidates, and also identify blue objects (compared to field stars) using the r' - i' colour index. We identify 1337 Hα emission line candidates and 336 Hα absorption line candidates. These catalogues likely contain a plethora of sources, ranging from active (binary) stars, early-type emission line objects, cataclysmic variables (CVs) and low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) to background active galactic nuclei (AGN). The 389 blue objects we identify are likely systems containing a compact object, such as CVs, planetary nebulae and LMXBs. Hot subluminous dwarfs (sdO/B stars) are also expected to be found as blue outliers. Cross-matching our outliers with the GBS X-ray catalogue yields 16 sources, including 7 (magnetic) CVs and 1 qLMXB candidate among the emission line candidates and 1 background AGN for the absorption line candidates. One of the blue outliers is a high-state AM CVn system. Spectroscopic observations combined with the multiwavelength coverage of this area, including X-ray, ultraviolet and (time-resolved) optical and infrared observations, can be used to further constrain the nature of individual sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Be - novae
  • Binaries: symbiotic
  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxy: bulge
  • Stars: emission line
  • White dwarfs


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