EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 502, Number 1, July IV 2009
Page(s) 85 - 90
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912053
Published online 27 May 2009
A&A 502, 85-90 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912053

Normal galaxies in the XMM-Newton fields

X-rays as a star formation indicator
E. Rovilos1, 2, 3, I. Georgantopoulos2, P. Tzanavaris4, 5, 2, M. Pracy6, M. Whiting7, D. Woods8, 9, and C. Goudis2, 3

1  Max Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstraße, 85748, Garching, Germany
    e-mail: erovilos@mpe.mpg.de
2  Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Observatory of Athens, I. Metaxa & V. Pavlou str, Palaia Penteli, 15236, Greece
3  Astronomical Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Patras, 26500, Rio-Patras, Greece
4  Laboratory for X-ray Astrophysics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 662, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
5  Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 366 Bloomberg Center, 3400 N. Charles street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
6  Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Cotter Rd, Weston, ACT 2611, Australia
7  Australia Telescope National Facility, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
8  School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
9  Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver B.C., V6T 1Z1, Canada

Received 12 March 2009 / Accepted 18 May 2009

Context. We use the first XMM serendipitous source catalogue (1XMM) to compile a sample of normal X-ray galaxies.
Aims. We seek to expand the database of X-ray selected normal galaxies at intermediate redshifts and examine the relation between X-ray emission and star formation for late-type systems.
Methods. The candidates are selected based on their X-ray (soft spectra), X-ray to optical (log $(f_{\rm x}/f_{\rm o})$ < -2) and optical (extended sources) properties. 44 candidates are found and 35 are spectroscopically observed with the Australian National University's 2.3 m telescope to examine their nature.
Results. Of the 35 sources observed, 2 are AGN, 11 emission line galaxies, 12 absorption line galaxies, 6 have featureless spectra while 4 are associated with Galactic stars. We combine our emission line sample with earlier works forming the most comprehensive X-ray selected galaxy sample for the study of the X-ray luminosity to the H$\alpha$ luminosity – a well-calibrated star-formation indicator – relation.
Conclusions. We find that the X-ray luminosity strongly correlates with the H$\alpha$ luminosity, suggesting that the X-rays efficiently trace the star-formation.

Key words: galaxies: starburst -- X-rays: galaxies

© ESO 2009