We present the results of a study of the variability of X-ray sources in the central 30 arcmin of the nearby Andromeda Galaxy (M 31) based on XMM-Newton Performance Verification observations. Two observations of this field, with a total exposure time of about 50 ks, were performed in June and December of 2000. We found 116 sources brighter than a limiting luminosity of 6 × 1035 erg s-1 (0.3-12 keV, d=760 kpc). For the ~ 60 brightest sources, we searched for periodic and non-periodic variability; at least 15% of these sources appear to be variable on a time scale of several months. We discovered a new bright transient source ~ 2.9 arcmin from the nucleus in the June observation; this source faded significantly and was no longer detected in December. The behaviour of the object is similar to a handful of Galactic LMXB transients, most of which are supposed to harbor black holes. We detected pulsations with a period of ~ 865 s from a source with a supersoft spectrum. The flux of this source decreased significantly between the two XMM observations. The detected period is unusually short and points to a rapidly spinning magnetized white dwarf. The high luminosity and transient nature of the source suggest its possible identification with classical or symbiotic nova, some of which were observed earlier as supersoft sources.

The central region of M 31 observed with XMM-Newton. II. Variability of the individual sources

Tiengo A;
2001

Abstract

We present the results of a study of the variability of X-ray sources in the central 30 arcmin of the nearby Andromeda Galaxy (M 31) based on XMM-Newton Performance Verification observations. Two observations of this field, with a total exposure time of about 50 ks, were performed in June and December of 2000. We found 116 sources brighter than a limiting luminosity of 6 × 1035 erg s-1 (0.3-12 keV, d=760 kpc). For the ~ 60 brightest sources, we searched for periodic and non-periodic variability; at least 15% of these sources appear to be variable on a time scale of several months. We discovered a new bright transient source ~ 2.9 arcmin from the nucleus in the June observation; this source faded significantly and was no longer detected in December. The behaviour of the object is similar to a handful of Galactic LMXB transients, most of which are supposed to harbor black holes. We detected pulsations with a period of ~ 865 s from a source with a supersoft spectrum. The flux of this source decreased significantly between the two XMM observations. The detected period is unusually short and points to a rapidly spinning magnetized white dwarf. The high luminosity and transient nature of the source suggest its possible identification with classical or symbiotic nova, some of which were observed earlier as supersoft sources.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/1080
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