The Galactic Bulge Survey

Friday, 27 May 2016 noon — 1 p.m. MST

AURA Lecture Hall

NOIRLab South Colloquia
ROB HYNES (Louisiana State University and Gemini South Visiting Astronomer)

The Galactic Bulge Survey is a Chandra X-ray survey of two regions of the central Bulge above and below the Galactic Plane with extensive multiwavelength follow-up. The immediate objectives are to identify and classify faint X-ray sources in and towards the Bulge, with a primary focus on quantifying the population of low luminosity accreting binaries and in particular, quiescent black holes. Alongside candidate X-ray binaries, the survey is discovering a wide variety of other objects including cataclysmic variables, symbiotic stars, active stars of all descriptions, and active galactic nuclei. Confirmation of the nature of quiescent X-ray binaries rests on dynamical measures of the compact object mass, usually requiring 8-m class telescopes. I will present an overview of the survey, a selection of the objects found, and describe the role that will be played by Gemini in obtaining the critical mass measurements.