Aims: Globular clusters produce many exotic stars due to a much higher frequency of dynamical interactions in their dense stellar environments. Some of these objects were observed together with several hundred thousand other stars in our MUSE survey of 26 Galactic globular clusters. Assuming that at least a few exotic stars have exotic spectra (i.e. spectra that contain emission lines), we can use this large spectroscopic data set of over a million stellar spectra as a blind survey to detect stellar exotica in globular clusters.
Methods: To detect emission lines in each spectrum, we modelled the expected shape of an emission line as a Gaussian curve. This template was used for matched filtering on the differences between each observed 1D spectrum and its fitted spectral model. The spectra with the most significant detections of Hα emission are checked visually and cross-matched with published catalogues.
Results: We find 156 stars with Hα emission, including several known cataclysmic variables (CV) and two new CVs, pulsating variable stars, eclipsing binary stars, the optical counterpart of a known black hole, several probable sub-subgiants and red stragglers, and 21 background emission-line galaxies. We find possible optical counterparts to 39 X-ray sources, as we detected Hα emission in several spectra of stars that are close to known positions of Chandra X-ray sources. This spectral catalogue can be used to supplement existing or future X-ray or radio observations with spectra of potential optical counterparts to classify the sources.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- November 2019
- globular clusters: general;
- stars: emission-line;
- cataclysmic variables;
- techniques: imaging spectroscopy;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- accepted for publication in Astronomy &