Monday, July 1, 2013

1306.6886 (Jeanette C. Gladstone)

The sub-classes of ultraluminous X-ray sources    [PDF]

Jeanette C. Gladstone
Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) were an enigma since their discovery. ASCA showed that they are accreting black holes (BHs) with unknown mass, while Chandra & XMM data shows that the many of the lower luminosity ULXs can be explained by extreme accretion onto stellar remnant BHs. The discovery of hyperluminous X-ray sources has led to specu- lation that we may, once again, have found the elusive intermediate mass black holes, yet in the last year, a third sub-class of extreme ULXs has emerged, with their nature, as yet, un- known. Here we define and discuss the sub-classes of these fascinating systems, exploring possible explanations for their nature, and indicating possible future steps in their analysis.
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