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journal id: "astrophysicalxjournal"
| Authors||M. van den Berg, F. Verbunt, G. Tagliaferri, T. Belloni, L.R. Bedin, I. Platais|
|Title||A Chandra X-Ray Study of the Interacting Binaries in the Old Open Cluster NGC 6791|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Institute/dept.||FNWI: Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek (IAP)|
|Abstract||We present the first X-ray study of NGC 6791, one of the oldest open clusters known (8 Gyr). Our Chandra observation is aimed at uncovering the population of close interacting binaries down to L X ≈ 1 × 1030 erg s–1 (0.3-7 keV). We detect 86 sources within 8' of the cluster center, including 59 inside the half-mass radius. We identify 20 sources with proper-motion cluster members, which are a mix of cataclysmic variables (CVs), active binaries (ABs), and binaries containing sub-subgiants. With follow-up optical spectroscopy, we confirm the nature of one CV. We discover one new, X-ray variable candidate CV with Balmer and He II emission lines in its optical spectrum; this is the first X-ray-selected CV in an open cluster. The number of CVs per unit mass is consistent with the field, suggesting that the 3-4 CVs observed in NGC 6791 are primordial. We compare the X-ray properties of NGC 6791 with those of a few old open (NGC 6819, M 67) and globular clusters (47 Tuc, NGC 6397). It is puzzling that the number of ABs brighter than 1 × 1030 erg s–1 normalized by cluster mass is lower in NGC 6791 than in M 67 by a factor ~3-7. CVs, ABs, and sub-subgiants brighter than 1 × 1030 erg s–1 are under-represented per unit mass in the globular clusters compared to the oldest open clusters, and this accounts for the lower total X-ray luminosity per unit mass of the former. This indicates that the net effect of dynamical encounters may be the destruction of even some of the hardest (i.e., X-ray-emitting) binaries.|
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