Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources

Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources We review observations of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). X-ray spectroscopic and timing studies of ULXs suggest a new accretion state distinct from those seen in Galactic stellar-mass black hole binaries. The detection of coherent pulsations indicates the presence of neutron-star accretors in three ULXs and therefore apparently super-Eddington luminosities. Optical and X-ray line profiles of ULXs and the properties of associated radio and optical nebulae suggest that ULXs produce powerful outflows, also indicative of super-Eddington accretion. We discuss models of super-Eddington accretion and their relationship to the observed behaviors of ULXs. We review the evidence for intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in ULXs. We consider the implications of ULXs for super-Eddington accretion in active galactic nuclei, heating of the early Universe, and the origin of the black hole binary recently detected via gravitational waves. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics Annual Reviews

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0066-4146
eISSN
1545-4282
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev-astro-091916-055259
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We review observations of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). X-ray spectroscopic and timing studies of ULXs suggest a new accretion state distinct from those seen in Galactic stellar-mass black hole binaries. The detection of coherent pulsations indicates the presence of neutron-star accretors in three ULXs and therefore apparently super-Eddington luminosities. Optical and X-ray line profiles of ULXs and the properties of associated radio and optical nebulae suggest that ULXs produce powerful outflows, also indicative of super-Eddington accretion. We discuss models of super-Eddington accretion and their relationship to the observed behaviors of ULXs. We review the evidence for intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in ULXs. We consider the implications of ULXs for super-Eddington accretion in active galactic nuclei, heating of the early Universe, and the origin of the black hole binary recently detected via gravitational waves.

Journal

Annual Review of Astronomy and AstrophysicsAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 18, 2017

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