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Prospecting for periods with LSST – low-mass X-ray binaries as a test case

Prospecting for periods with LSST – low-mass X-ray binaries as a test case
Prospecting for periods with LSST – low-mass X-ray binaries as a test case
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will provide for unbiased sampling of variability properties of objects with r  magnitude  <  24. This should allow for those objects whose variations reveal their orbital periods (Porb), such as low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and related objects, to be examined in much greater detail and with systematic sampling. However, the baseline LSST observing strategy has temporal sampling that is not optimized for such work in the Galaxy. Here, we assess four candidate observing strategies for measurement of Porb in the range 10 min to 50 d. We simulate multifilter quiescent LMXB light curves including ellipsoidal modulation and stochastic flaring, and then sample these using LSST’s operations simulator (OpSim) over the (mag, Porb) parameter space, and over five sight-lines sampling a range of possible reddening values. The percentage of simulated parameter space with correctly returned periods ranges from ∼ 23  per cent, for the current baseline strategy, to ∼ 70  per cent for the two simulated strategies without reduced Galactic sampling. Convolving these results with a Porb distribution, a modelled Galactic spatial distribution and reddening maps, we conservatively estimate that the most recent version of the LSST baseline strategy (baseline2018a) will allow Porb determination for ∼ 18  per cent of the Milky Way’s LMXB population, whereas strategies that do not reduce observations of the Galactic Plane can improve this dramatically to ∼ 32  per cent. This increase would allow characterization of the full binary population by breaking degeneracies between suggested Porb distributions in the literature. Our results can be used in the ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of various potential cadencing strategies.
0035-8711
19-30
Johnson, Michael
33a0d8cb-491b-4b3f-b193-540a331ac705
Gandhi, Poshak
5bc3b5af-42b0-4dd8-8f1f-f74048d4d4a9
Chapman, Adriane
721b7321-8904-4be2-9b01-876c430743f1
Moreau, Luc
033c63dd-3fe9-4040-849f-dfccbe0406f8
Charles, Philip
0429b380-0754-4dc1-8def-885c7fa6a086
Clarkson, William I.
6f676af8-c993-408d-9856-2b7713692502
Hill, Adam
b1007941-b5b1-47cd-8476-7c6b9c57f347
Johnson, Michael
33a0d8cb-491b-4b3f-b193-540a331ac705
Gandhi, Poshak
5bc3b5af-42b0-4dd8-8f1f-f74048d4d4a9
Chapman, Adriane
721b7321-8904-4be2-9b01-876c430743f1
Moreau, Luc
033c63dd-3fe9-4040-849f-dfccbe0406f8
Charles, Philip
0429b380-0754-4dc1-8def-885c7fa6a086
Clarkson, William I.
6f676af8-c993-408d-9856-2b7713692502
Hill, Adam
b1007941-b5b1-47cd-8476-7c6b9c57f347

Johnson, Michael, Gandhi, Poshak, Chapman, Adriane, Moreau, Luc, Charles, Philip, Clarkson, William I. and Hill, Adam (2019) Prospecting for periods with LSST – low-mass X-ray binaries as a test case. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484 (1), 19-30. (doi:10.1093/mnras/sty3466).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will provide for unbiased sampling of variability properties of objects with r  magnitude  <  24. This should allow for those objects whose variations reveal their orbital periods (Porb), such as low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and related objects, to be examined in much greater detail and with systematic sampling. However, the baseline LSST observing strategy has temporal sampling that is not optimized for such work in the Galaxy. Here, we assess four candidate observing strategies for measurement of Porb in the range 10 min to 50 d. We simulate multifilter quiescent LMXB light curves including ellipsoidal modulation and stochastic flaring, and then sample these using LSST’s operations simulator (OpSim) over the (mag, Porb) parameter space, and over five sight-lines sampling a range of possible reddening values. The percentage of simulated parameter space with correctly returned periods ranges from ∼ 23  per cent, for the current baseline strategy, to ∼ 70  per cent for the two simulated strategies without reduced Galactic sampling. Convolving these results with a Porb distribution, a modelled Galactic spatial distribution and reddening maps, we conservatively estimate that the most recent version of the LSST baseline strategy (baseline2018a) will allow Porb determination for ∼ 18  per cent of the Milky Way’s LMXB population, whereas strategies that do not reduce observations of the Galactic Plane can improve this dramatically to ∼ 32  per cent. This increase would allow characterization of the full binary population by breaking degeneracies between suggested Porb distributions in the literature. Our results can be used in the ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of various potential cadencing strategies.

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Prospecting for Periods with LSST { Low Mass X-ray - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 14 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 December 2018
Published date: March 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430325
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430325
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: 4519b5b4-0b2b-4818-8b75-da096b147e41
ORCID for Michael Johnson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5566-6147
ORCID for Poshak Gandhi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3105-2615
ORCID for Adriane Chapman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3814-2587
ORCID for Luc Moreau: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3494-120X
ORCID for Adam Hill: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3470-4834

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Date deposited: 25 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:17

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Contributors

Author: Michael Johnson ORCID iD
Author: Poshak Gandhi ORCID iD
Author: Adriane Chapman ORCID iD
Author: Luc Moreau ORCID iD
Author: Philip Charles
Author: William I. Clarkson
Author: Adam Hill ORCID iD

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