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XMM-Newton false colour images of six Galactic globular clusters

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About this Image

False colour observations of six Galactic globular clusters. Globular clusters are very dense groups of very old stars. The clusters appear less dense in the X-ray image as only a few of the objects that they contain emit at such high energies. However, it is thanks this that we can find the more exotic objects contained in globular clusters, such as neutron star X-ray binaries, cataclysmic variables, millisecond pulsars etc. The globular clusters in the image are M 55 (NGC 6805), Omega Centauri (NGC 5139), M 22 (NGC 6656), NGC 3201, NGC 2808 and M 13 (NGC 6205). Each image is composed of an image in the 0.5-1.0 keV band (red), one in the 1.0-2.0 keV band (green) and one in the 2.0-4.5 keV band. A number of exotic sources can then be fairly easily picked out by eye. The brighter red objects towards the centre of each image are neutron star X-ray binaries, a number of blue/white objects towards the centre are cataclysmic variables, and some of the fainter red objects towards the centre are millisecond pulsars.

Investigator(s):  N.A. Webb, D. Barret, M. Servillat, B. Gendre

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XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by