Multiwavelength characterization of the high-mass X-ray binary population of M31

Margaret Lazzarini, Benjamin F. Williams, Meredith Durbin, Julianne Dalcanton, Vallia Antoniou, Breanna A. Binder, Michael Eracleous, Paul P. Plucinsky, Manami Sasaki, Neven Vulic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present our analysis of high-quality high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) candidates in M31 selected from point-source optical counterpart candidates from the Chandra-PHAT survey catalog. We fit the spectral energy distributions of optical counterpart candidates using the Bayesian Extinction and Stellar Tool. We used the best-fit luminosity, effective temperature, radius, and dust reddening for the companion stars in combination with the local star formation history, dust maps of M31, published X-ray spectral fits from XMM-Newton observations, IR colors, and Chandra X-ray hardness ratios to determine our best sample of HMXB candidates. The age distribution of the HMXB sample appears peaked between 10 and 50 Myr, consistent with findings in other nearby galaxies. Using the age distribution and mean star formation rate (SFR), we find that 80-136 HMXBs were produced per unit of SFR over the last 50 Myr and 89-163 HMXBs were produced per unit of SFR over the last 80 Myr, if we expand the assumed age limit beyond the lifetimes of single massive stars. We also calculate the HMXB production rate (HMXBs/Me) over time, which ranges from 7 × 10−7 to 4 × 10−6 HMXBs/Me over the last 80 Myr, in agreement with both theoretical predictions and measured production rates in other galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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