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X-Ray Binaries in Globular Clusters

  • Jonathan E. Grindlay (a1)

Abstract

X-ray binaries in globular clusters provide a powerful tool for the exploration of the evolution of compact binaries and their host globular clusters. Recent x-ray and optical studies of these systems have yielded long-sought binary periods and fundamental properties for two sources (in NGC 6624 and M 15). It appears that tidal capture formation of compact binaries in globular clusters can proceed by several different routes and lead to exotic systems such as the white dwarf-neutron star binary with an 11-minute period recently discovered in NGC 6624. Combined with previously reported long-term periods for several globular cluster (and field) x-ray sources, this suggests again that many of these systems may in fact be hierarchical triple systems. The prospects for forming these in the dense cores of clusters undergoing core collapse is discussed, and searches for color gradients in the cores of globular clusters showing cusps in their central surface brightness distribution are presented. A program to test for the high central density of binaries (and triples) expected in cusp clusters by searching for diffuse line emission from their constituent cataclysmic variables is briefly described. Finally, the case for globular cluster disruption and the formation of galactic x-ray burst source is reviewed in light of recent developments.

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References

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X-Ray Binaries in Globular Clusters

  • Jonathan E. Grindlay (a1)

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