EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 480, Number 2, March III 2008
Page(s) 599 - 610
Section Catalogs and data
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20078858

A&A 480, 599-610 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078858

Time variability of X-ray sources in the M 31 centre field

H. Stiele, W. Pietsch, F. Haberl, and M. Freyberg

Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85748 Garching, Germany
    e-mail: hstiele@mpe.mpg.de

(Received 16 October 2007 / Accepted 7 December 2007)

Aims.We present an extension to our XMM-Newton X-ray source catalogue of M 31 containing 39 newly found sources. In order to classify and identify more of the sources we search for X-ray time variability in XMM-Newton archival data of the M 31 centre field.
Methods.As a source list we used our extended catalogue based on observations covering the time span from June 2000 to July 2004. We then determined the flux or at least an upper limit at the source positions for each observation. Deriving the flux ratios for the different observations and searching for the maximum flux difference we determined variability factors. We also calculated the significance of the flux ratios.
Results.Using hardness ratios, X-ray variability and cross correlations with catalogues in the X-ray, optical, infrared and radio regimes, we detected three super soft source candidates, one supernova remnant and six supernova remnant candidates, one globular cluster candidate, three X-ray binaries and four X-ray binary candidates. Additionally we identified one foreground star candidate and classified fifteen sources with hard spectra, which may either be X-ray binaries or Crab-like supernova remnants in M 31 or background active galactic nuclei. The remaining five sources stay unidentified or without classification. Based on the time variability results we suggest six sources, which were formerly classified as "hard", to be X-ray binary candidates. The classification of one other source (XMMM31 J004236.7+411349) as a supernova remnant, has to be rejected due to the distinct time variability we found. We now classify this source as a foreground star.

Key words: galaxies: individual: M 31 -- X-rays: galaxies

© ESO 2008