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R. Kilgard (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), M. Ward (University of Durham), T. Roberts (University of Leicester), A. Prestwich (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Discrete X-ray sources in galaxies are largely a mix of high- and low-mass X-ray binaries and supernova remnants. While it is possible to classify some sources based on X-ray spectral and temporal properties, the majority of sources detected in nearby galaxies have insufficient X-ray flux to determine their nature. Identifying multiwavelength counterparts is the only way to definitively classify an X-ray point source in a galaxy. We present results on an optical/X-ray analysis of two nearby interacting systems, M51a/b and M81/NGC 3077, as the first data in a multiwavelength campaign to classify the discrete X-ray source population identified in a survey of nearby galaxies. In these initial results, we examine the optical counterparts to explore the relation between interaction, star formation, and high-mass X-ray binary formation. This work has been supported by NASA grants GO4-5100X (CXC), NNG04GI02G (XMM-GSFC), and HST-AR-10669.01.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.