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THE BIRTH OF AN ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCE IN M83

Soria, Roberto ; Kuntz, K. D ; Blair, William P ; Winkler, P. Frank ; Long, Knox S ; Whitmore, Bradley C ; Plucinsky, Paul P

Astrophysical Journal, 10 May 2012, Vol.750(2) [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    THE BIRTH OF AN ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCE IN M83
  • Author: Soria, Roberto ; Kuntz, K. D ; Blair, William P ; Winkler, P. Frank ; Long, Knox S ; Whitmore, Bradley C ; Plucinsky, Paul P
  • Description: A previously undetected (L{sub X} < 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}) source in the strongly star-forming galaxy M83 entered an ultraluminous state between 2009 August and 2010 December. It was first seen with Chandra on 2010 December 23 at L{sub X} Almost-Equal-To 4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 39} erg s{sup -1} and has remained ultraluminous through our most recent observations in 2011 December, with typical flux variation of a factor of two. The spectrum is well fitted by a combination of absorbed power-law and disk blackbody models. While the relative contributions of the models vary with time, we have seen no evidence for a canonical state transition. The luminosity and spectral properties are consistent with accretion powered by a black hole with M{sub BH} Almost-Equal-To 40-100 M{sub Sun }. In 2011 July we found a luminous, blue optical counterpart that had not been seen in deep Hubble Space Telescope observations obtained in 2009 August. These optical observations suggest that the donor star is a low-mass star undergoing Roche lobe overflow, and that the blue optical emission seen during the outburst is coming from an irradiated accretion disk. This source shows that ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) with low-mass companions are an important component of the ULX population in star-forming galaxies and provides further evidence that the blue optical counterparts of some ULXs need not indicate a young, high-mass companion, but rather that they may indicate X-ray reprocessing.
  • Is Part Of: Astrophysical Journal, 10 May 2012, Vol.750(2)
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X ; E-ISSN: 1538-4357 ; DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/750/2/152
  • Subjects: Astrophysics, Cosmology And Astronomy ; Accretion Disks ; Astrophysics ; Binary Stars ; Black Holes ; Cosmic X-Ray Sources ; Emission Spectra ; Galaxies ; Gamma Astronomy ; Luminosity ; Mass ; Photon Emission ; Roche Equipotentials ; Telescopes ; X Radiation ; Astronomy & Astrophysics ; Physics
  • Language: English
  • Source: SciTech Connect (U.S. Dept. of Energy - Office of Scientific and Technical Information)

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