Back to Volume
Paper: The Population of High-Mass X-Ray Binaries in the Small Magellanic Cloud
Volume: 422, High Energy Phenomena in Massive Stars
Page: 224
Authors: Coe, M.; Corbets, R. H. D.; McGowan, K. E.; McBride, V. A.
Abstract: The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) represents an exciting opportunity to observe the direct results of tidal interactions on star birth and stellar evolution. One of the best indicators of recent star birth activity is the presence of significant numbers of High-Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs)—and the SMC has them in abundance! Here we present results from nearly 10 years of monitoring these systems plus ground-based optical data. Together they permit us to build a picture of a galaxy with a mass of only ∼1 percent of the Milky Way but with a more extensive HMXB population. However, as often happens, new discoveries lead to some challenging puzzles: where are the other X-ray binaries (eg black hole and low mass systems) in the SMC? and why do virtually all the SMC HMXBs have Be star companions and, rarely, a supergiant companion? The evidence arising from these extensive observations for this apparently unusual stellar evolution are discussed.
Back to Volume