A&A 452, 169-178 (2006)
Origin of the Galactic ridge X-ray emissionM. Revnivtsev1, 2, S. Sazonov1, 2, M. Gilfanov1, 2, E. Churazov1, 2 and R. Sunyaev1, 2
1 Max-Planck-Institute für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85740 Garching bei München, Germany
2 Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117997 Moscow, Russia
(Received 28 September 2005 / Accepted 31 January 2006)
We analyze a map of the Galactic ridge X-ray emission (GRXE) constructed in the 3-20 keV energy band from RXTE/PCA scan and slew observations. We show that the GRXE intensity follows the Galactic near-infrared surface brightness closely and thus traces the Galactic stellar mass distribution. The GRXE consists of two spatial components that can be identified with the bulge/bar and the disk of the Galaxy. The parameters of these components determined from X-ray data are compatible with those derived from near-infrared data. The inferred ratio of X-ray to near-infrared surface brightness (10-11 erg s-1 cm-2 deg-2)/ (MJy/sr) = , and the ratio of X-ray to near-infrared luminosity . The corresponding ratio of the 3-20 keV luminosity to the stellar mass is erg s-1 , which agrees within the uncertainties with the cumulative emissivity per unit stellar mass of point X-ray sources in the Solar neighborhood, determined in an accompanying paper (Sazonov et al.). This suggests that the bulk of the GRXE is composed of weak X-ray sources, mostly cataclysmic variables and coronally active binaries. The fractional contributions of these classes of sources to the total X-ray emissivity determined from the Solar neighborhood data can also explain the GRXE energy spectrum. Based on the luminosity function of local X-ray sources we predict that, in order to resolve 90% of the GRXE into discrete sources, a sensitivity limit of erg s-1 cm-2 (2-10 keV) will need to be reached in future observations.
Key words: stars: binaries: general -- Galaxy: bulge -- Galaxy: disk -- X-rays: general -- X-rays: stars
© ESO 2006