Low-mass X-ray binaries and globular clusters streamers and ARCS in NGC 4278

R. D'Abrusco, G. Fabbiano, Nicola Brassington

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We report significant inhomogeneities in the projected two-dimensional spatial distributions of low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and globular clusters (GCs) of the intermediate mass elliptical galaxy NGC 4278. In the inner region of NGC 4278, a significant arc-like excess of LMXBs extending south of the center at ∼50″ in the western side of the galaxy can be associated with a similar overdensity of the spatial distribution of red GCs from Brassington et al. Using a recent catalog of GCs produced by Usher et al. and covering the whole field of the NGC 4278 galaxy, we have discovered two other significant density structures outside the D 25 isophote to the W and E of the center of NGC 4278, associated with an overdensity and an underdensity, respectively. We discuss the nature of these structures in the context of the similar spatial inhomogeneities discovered in the LMXBs and GCs populations of NGC 4649 and NGC 4261, respectively. These features suggest streamers from disrupted and accreted dwarf companions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, CD
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: individual (NGC 4649)
  • globular clusters: general
  • X-rays: binaries


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