The High-mass X-Ray Binary Luminosity Functions of Dwarf Galaxies

Robel Geda, Andy D. Goulding, Bret D. Lehmer, Jenny E. Greene, Anish Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing from the Chandra archive and using a carefully selected set of nearby dwarf galaxies, we present a calibrated high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) luminosity function in the low-mass galaxy regime and search for an already hinted at dependence on metallicity. Our study introduces a new sample of local dwarf galaxies (D < 12.5 Mpc and M* < 5 × 109 M ), expanding the specific star formation rates (sSFR) and gas-phase metallicities probed in previous investigations. Our analysis of the observed X-ray luminosity function indicates a shallower power-law slope for the dwarf galaxy HMXB population. In our study, we focus on dwarf galaxies that are more representative in terms of sSFR compared to prior work. In this regime, the HMXB luminosity function exhibits significant stochastic sampling at high luminosities. This likely accounts for the pronounced scatter observed in the galaxy-integrated HMXB population’s L X/SFR versus metallicity for our galaxy sample. Our calibration is necessary to understand the active galactic nuclei content of low-mass galaxies identified in current and future X-ray survey fields and has implications for binary population synthesis models, as well as X-ray-driven cosmic heating in the early Universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number67
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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