Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik
Abteilung AstronomieSand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
Abstract. Astronomical observations enable us to access the places of stellar birth to stellar death, as well as the largest structures in the interstellar space to the tiniest objects in the Galaxy. Observations over the entire electromagnetic spectrum provide crucial diagnostics for our understanding of the structure and evolution of our Galaxy and the objects that form it. However, since we are located inside the Galactic disc, our view is badly compromised by dust and gas, a lack of accurate distance measurements, and a confusing welter of numerous features along each line of sight. Thus, to test realistic models for the flow and evolution of matter through the various components of the interstellar medium (ISM) to stars and back again, we must look beyond the Milky Way.
The Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy (M 31), and the Triangulum galaxy (M 33) are the only spiral galaxies in the Local Group and its most dominant members. M 31 and M 33, as well as two of our closest neighbours, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC, SMC), are among the best studied external galaxies, owing to their proximity and modest extinction along the line of sight. The underlying reason for this is obvious. All of the objects in each of these galaxies are at approximately the same distances of 48 kpcb, 60 kpc, 760 kpc, and 860 kpc for the SMC, LMC, M 31, and M 33, respectively (Hilditch et al., 2005; van Leeuwen et al., 2007; Clementini et al., 2011; Sarajedini et al., 2006). All the sources in each galaxy are subject to roughly the same amount of absorption. Furthermore, because they are nearby, one can study fainter objects than in any other galaxy outside the Local Group, and determine their relative location to other components in the galaxy. Studies of X-ray sources in these galaxies are essential to our understanding of the X-ray properties of normal galaxies and by extension, of our own Galaxy.
In the following, I will present my recent projects on Galactic and extragalactic X-ray sources with the aim to study the physical processes in these objects and the evolution of galaxies. I would like to point out that all the presented publications, also those for which I am not the first author, are based on projects initiated by myself and I have contributed significantly to the analysis as well as to the interpretation of the results. The Emmy Noether research group led by myself, which started its activities in September 2010, has also carried out additional studies. These projects have also resulted in numerous additional publications. The entire list of the studies that have been completed so far can be found in the publication list.
Habilitationsschrift (37,65 Mb PDF file including figures)
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Last modified 23 May 2017