We report the discovery of a flaring X-ray source 7″ from the center of the globular cluster NGC 6540 obtained during the EXTraS project devoted to a systematic search for variability in archival data of the XMM-Newton satellite. The source had a quiescent X-ray luminosity on the order of 1032 erg s-1 in the 0.5-10 keV range (for a distance of NGC 6540 of 4 kpc) and showed a flare lasting about 300 s. During the flare, the X-ray luminosity increased by more than a factor 40, with a total emitted energy of 1036 erg. These properties, as well as Hubble Space Telescope photometry of the possible optical counterparts, suggest the identification with a chromospherically active binary in the cluster. However, the flare luminosity is significantly higher than what is commonly observed in stellar flares of such a short duration, leaving open the possibility of other interpretations.

EXTraS discovery of a peculiar flaring X-ray source in the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6540

De Luca A.;Belfiore A.;Marelli M.;Tiengo A.
2018

Abstract

We report the discovery of a flaring X-ray source 7″ from the center of the globular cluster NGC 6540 obtained during the EXTraS project devoted to a systematic search for variability in archival data of the XMM-Newton satellite. The source had a quiescent X-ray luminosity on the order of 1032 erg s-1 in the 0.5-10 keV range (for a distance of NGC 6540 of 4 kpc) and showed a flare lasting about 300 s. During the flare, the X-ray luminosity increased by more than a factor 40, with a total emitted energy of 1036 erg. These properties, as well as Hubble Space Telescope photometry of the possible optical counterparts, suggest the identification with a chromospherically active binary in the cluster. However, the flare luminosity is significantly higher than what is commonly observed in stellar flares of such a short duration, leaving open the possibility of other interpretations.
globular clusters: individual: NGC 6540, stars: flare, X-rays: binaries, X-rays: bursts
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/4903
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