Identification of galactic bulge survey X-ray sources with tycho-2 stars

Robert I. Hynes, N. J. Wright, T. J. MacCarone, P. G. Jonker, S. Greiss, D. Steeghs, M. A.P. Torres, C. T. Britt, G. Nelemans

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We identify 69 X-ray sources discovered by the Galactic Bulge Survey (GBS) that are coincident with or very close to bright stars in the Tycho-2 catalog. Additionally, two other GBS sources are resolved binary companions to Tycho-2 stars where both components are separately detected in X-rays. Most of these are likely to be real matches, but we identify nine objects with large and significant X-ray-to-optical offsets as either detections of resolved binary companions or chance alignments. We collate known spectral types for these objects, and also examine Two Micron All Sky Survey colors, variability information from the All-Sky Automated Survey, and X-ray hardness ratios for the brightest objects. Nearly a third of the stars are found to be optically variable, divided roughly evenly between irregular variations and periodic modulations. All fall among the softest objects identified by the GBS. The sample forms a very mixed selection, ranging in spectral class from O9 to M3. In some cases, the X-ray emission appears consistent with normal coronal emission from late-type stars, or wind emission from early-types, but the sample also includes one known Algol, one W UMa system, two Be stars, and several X-ray bright objects likely to be coronally active stars or binaries. Surprisingly, a substantial fraction of the spectroscopically classified, non-coincidental sample (12 out of 38 objects) have late B or A type counterparts. Many of these exhibit redder near-IR colors than expected for their spectral type and/or variability, and it is likely that the X-rays originate from a late-type companion star in most or all of these objects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number162
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 10 2012


  • binaries: close
  • stars: activity
  • stars: emission-line, Be
  • stars: massive
  • surveys


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