An unexpected discovery in the rich open cluster ngc6819 using XMM-Newton

Natalie M. Gosnell*, David Pooley, Aaron M. Geller, Jason Kalirai, Robert D. Mathieu, Peter Frinchaboy, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We present the first study of the X-ray population of the intermediate-age rich open cluster NGC6819 using the XMM-Newton Observatory. In the past decade, Chandra X-ray observations have shown a relationship between the X-ray population of globular clusters and their internal dynamics and encounter frequency. We investigate the role dynamics possibly play in the formation of X-ray sources in NGC6819, and compare our results with known properties of field and globular cluster X-ray populations. We implement a multi-wavelength approach to studying the X-ray sources, utilizing X-ray and UV data from XMM observations along with the wealth of photometry and radial-velocity data from the WIYN Open Cluster Study and the CFHT Open Cluster Survey. Within the cluster half-light radius, we detect 12 X-ray sources down to a luminosity of 10 30 erg s-1 for cluster members. The sources include a candidate quiescent low-mass X-ray binary (qLMXB), a candidate cataclysmic variable, and two active binary systems. The presence of a qLMXB in an open cluster is previously unexpected given the known relationships between luminous X-ray sources and encounter frequency in globular clusters, and most likely has a dynamical origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2012


  • X-rays: binaries
  • binaries: close
  • open clusters and associations: individual (NGC 6819)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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