The Nature of the X-Ray Binaries in the Whirlpool Galaxy/M51
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This research consists of the analysis of data from space based observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory. The method includes the stellar identification of optical sources in Messier 51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) found in images from the Hubble Space Telescope. A multi-wavelength analysis (including aperture photometry) is performed on the identified stars, followed by age-dating, and mass estimation. These results are then cross-correlated with the results from preexisting catalogues of X-ray sources. These findings yield a deeper understanding of the nature of the X-ray binaries in the Whirlpool Galaxy and provide greater insight on the X-ray binary formation, and evolution in the galaxy. This knowledge can be generalized to other spiral galaxies much like our own Milky Way.