Properties of the Galactic population of cataclysmic variables in hard X-rays
Max-Planck-Institute für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85740 Garching bei München, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117997 Moscow, Russia
3 Excellence Cluster Universe, Technische Universität München, Garching, Germany
Accepted: 23 July 2008
We measure the spatial distribution and hard X-ray luminosity function of cataclysmic variables (CVs) using the INTEGRAL all-sky survey in the 17–60 keV energy band. The vast majority of CVs detected by INTEGRAL are intermediate polars of luminosity in the range 1032–1034 erg s-1. The scale height of the Galactic disk population of intermediate polars is found to be pc. The CV luminosity function measured with INTEGRAL in hard X-rays is compatible with that previously determined at lower energies (3–20 keV) using a largely independent sample of sources detected by RXTE (located at |b| > 10° as opposed to the INTEGRAL sample, which is strongly concentrated to the Galactic plane). The cumulative 17–60 keV luminosity density of CVs per unit stellar mass is found to be (1.3±0.3)1027 erg s-1 , which is comparable to that of low-mass X-ray binaries in this energy band. Therefore, faint but numerous CVs are expected to provide an important contribution to the cumulative hard X-ray emission of galaxies.
Key words: stars: binaries: close / stars: binaries: general / stars: novae, cataclysmic variables / stars: luminosity function, mass function / stars: white dwarfs / X-rays: binaries
© ESO, 2008