On the X-ray Spectral Energy Distributions of Star-Forming Galaxies: the 0.3–30 keV Spectrum of the Low-Metallicity Starburst Galaxy VV 114
Links to Fileshttps://arxiv.org/abs/2009.08985
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Type of Work25 pages
Citation of Original PublicationKristen Garofali, Bret D. Lehmer, Antara Basu-Zych, Lacey A. West, Daniel Wik, Mihoko Yukita, Neven Vulic, Andrew Ptak and Ann Hornschemeier, On the X-ray Spectral Energy Distributions of Star-Forming Galaxies: the 0.3-30 keV Spectrum of the Low-Metallicity Starburst Galaxy VV 114, https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.08985
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This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
Binary population synthesis combined with cosmological models suggest that X-ray emission from star-forming galaxies, consisting primarily of emission from X-ray binaries (XRBs) and the hot interstellar medium (ISM), could be an important, and perhaps dominant, source of heating of the intergalactic medium prior to the epoch of reionization. However, such models rely on empirical constraints for the X-ray spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of star-forming galaxies, which are currently lacking for low-metallicity galaxies. Using a combination of Chandra, XMM-Newton, and NuSTAR observations, we present new constraints on the 0.3-30 keV SED of the low-metallicity starburst galaxy VV 114, which is known to host several ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) with luminosities above 10⁴⁰ erg s⁻¹. We use an archival Chandra observation of VV 114 to constrain the contributions to the X-ray SED from the major X-ray emitting components of the galaxy, and newly acquired, nearly simultaneous XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observations to extend the spectral model derived from Chandra to cover the 0.3-30 keV range. Using our best-fit galaxy-wide spectral model, we derive the 0.3-30 keV SED of VV 114, which we find is dominated by emission from the XRB population, and in particular ULXs, at energies > 1.5 keV, and which we find to have an elevated galaxy-integrated X-ray luminosity per unit star formation rate relative to higher-metallicity star-forming galaxies. We discuss our results in terms of the effect of metallicity on XRB populations and the hot ISM, and the importance of X-ray emission from star-forming galaxies in the high redshift Universe.
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