Variability of optical counterparts in the Chandra galactic bulge survey

C. T. Britt, R. I. Hynes, C. B. Johnson, A. Baldwin, P. G. Jonker, G. Nelemans, M. A.P. Torres, T. Maccarone, D. Steeghs, S. Greiss, C. Heinke, C. G. Bassa, A. Collazzi, A. Villar, M. Gabb, L. Gossen

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present optical light curves of variable stars consistent with the positions of X-ray sources identified with the Chandra X-ray Observatory for the Chandra Galactic Bulge Survey (GBS). Using data from the Mosaic-II instrument on the Blanco 4 m Telescope at CTIO, we gathered time-resolved photometric data on timescales from ∼2 hr to 8 days over the 3/4 of the X-ray survey containing sources from the initial GBS catalog. Among the light curve morphologies we identify are flickering in interacting binaries, eclipsing sources, dwarf nova outbursts, ellipsoidal variations, long period variables, spotted stars, and flare stars. Eighty-seven percent of X-ray sources have at least one potential optical counterpart. Twenty-seven percent of these candidate counterparts are detectably variable; a much greater fraction than expected for randomly selected field stars, which suggests that most of these variables are real counterparts. We discuss individual sources of interest, provide variability information on candidate counterparts, and discuss the characteristics of the variable population.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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