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Low kick velocities among HMXBs in the SMC confirmed with the spatial correlation function

Presentation #110.22 in the session “Stellar/Compact (Poster)”.

Published onApr 01, 2022
Low kick velocities among HMXBs in the SMC confirmed with the spatial correlation function

We present the first two-point cross-correlation function between 115 high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) and their likely birthplaces represented by 283 OB Associations (OBAs). A significant correlation (15 sigma) is found for the HMXB and OBA populations when compared with a randomized catalog in which the OBAs are distributed uniformly over the SMC. A less significant correlation (4 sigma) is found for a randomized catalog of OBAs built with a bootstrap method. However, no correlation is detected when the randomized catalogs assume the form of a Gaussian ellipsoid or a distribution that reflects the star-formation history from 40 Myr ago. Based on their observed distributions and assuming a range of migration timescales, we estimate that the average value of the kick velocity inherited by an HMXB during the formation of its compact object is 2–34 km/s. This is considerably less than the value obtained for their counterparts in the Milky Way hinting that the galactic environment affecting stellar evolution plays a role in setting the average kick velocity of HMXBs.


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