Volume 568, August 2014
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||22 August 2014|
Expected number of supergiant fast X-ray transients in the Milky Way
1 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Eberhard Karls Universität, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
2 ISDC Data Center for Astrophysics, Université de Genève, 16 chemin d’Écogia, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 INAF, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica - Palermo, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
Received: 15 May 2014
Accepted: 15 July 2014
In the past fifteen years a new generation of X-ray satellites led to the discovery of a subclass of high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) with supergiant companions and a peculiar transient behaviour: supergiant fast X-ray transients (SFXTs). We calculate the expected number of Galactic SFXTs for the first time, using two different statistical approaches and two sets of data based on Swift and INTEGRAL surveys, with the aim to determine how common the SFXT phenomenon really is. We find that the expected number of SFXTs in the Galaxy is 37+53-22, which shows that SFXTs constitute a large portion of X-ray binaries with supergiant companions in the Galaxy. We compare our estimate with the expected number of Galactic HMXBs predicted from observations and evolutionary models and discuss the implications for the nature of SFXTs.
Key words: X-rays: binaries
© ESO, 2014
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