AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 178 UV and X-ray Observations of Normal Galaxies
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[178.06] The Transient Nature of Extragalactic Low-Mass X-ray Binaries

J. A. Irwin (University of Michigan)

The variability of low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) in nearby galaxies has only now just begun as Chandra observes more galaxies for a second, third, and fourth epoch. Simulations predict that LMXBs should spend a large fraction of their lifetimes in quiescence, bursting to X-ray detectability at ~10--20 Mpc for only a short fraction of their lifetimes. However, the duty cycles and burst durations are poorly constrained theoretically and observationally. We present work on the variability of extragalactic LMXBs on timescales of days, weeks, months, and years for a sample of early-type galaxies observed with Chandra more than once, in an attempt to constrain duty cycles and burst durations using the ~500 detectable sources in the sample galaxies.

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