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Title: Fifty M31 black hole candidates identified by Chandra and XMM-Newton

Abstract

Over approximately the last five years, we have identified ∼35 black hole candidates (BHCs) in M31 from their X-ray spectra. Our BHCs exhibited 0.3-10 keV spectra consistent with the X-ray binary (XB) hard state at luminosities that are above the upper limit for neutron star (NS) XBs. When our BHC spectra were modeled with a disk blackbody + blackbody model for comparison with bright NS XBs, we found that the BHCs inhabited a different parameter space than the NS XBs. However, BH XBs may also exhibit a thermally dominated (TD) state that has never been seen in NS XBs; this TD state is most often observed in X-ray transients. We examined the ∼50 X-ray transients in our Chandra survey of M31 and found 13 with spectra suitable for analysis. We also examined two BHCs outside the field of view of our survey in the globular clusters B045 and B375. We have 42 strong BHCs and 8 plausible BHCs that may benefit from further observation. Of our 15 BHCs in globular clusters, 12 differ from NS spectra by >5σ. Due to improvements in our analysis, we have upgraded 10 previously identified plausible BHCs to strong BHCs. The mean maximum duty cyclemore » of the 33 X-ray transients within 6' of M31* is 0.13; we estimate that >40% of the XBs in this region contain BH accretors. Remarkably, we estimate that BHCs contribute >90% of those XBs >10{sup 38} erg s{sup –1}.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365401
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 791; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; APPROXIMATIONS; BLACK HOLES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; GALAXIES; KEV RANGE; LUMINOSITY; NEUTRON STARS; SPACE; TRANSIENTS; X RADIATION; X-RAY SPECTRA

Citation Formats

Barnard, R., Garcia, M. R., Primini, F., and Murray, S. S. Fifty M31 black hole candidates identified by Chandra and XMM-Newton. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/1/33.
Barnard, R., Garcia, M. R., Primini, F., & Murray, S. S. Fifty M31 black hole candidates identified by Chandra and XMM-Newton. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/1/33.
Barnard, R., Garcia, M. R., Primini, F., and Murray, S. S. Sun . "Fifty M31 black hole candidates identified by Chandra and XMM-Newton". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/1/33.
@article{osti_22365401,
title = {Fifty M31 black hole candidates identified by Chandra and XMM-Newton},
author = {Barnard, R. and Garcia, M. R. and Primini, F. and Murray, S. S.},
abstractNote = {Over approximately the last five years, we have identified ∼35 black hole candidates (BHCs) in M31 from their X-ray spectra. Our BHCs exhibited 0.3-10 keV spectra consistent with the X-ray binary (XB) hard state at luminosities that are above the upper limit for neutron star (NS) XBs. When our BHC spectra were modeled with a disk blackbody + blackbody model for comparison with bright NS XBs, we found that the BHCs inhabited a different parameter space than the NS XBs. However, BH XBs may also exhibit a thermally dominated (TD) state that has never been seen in NS XBs; this TD state is most often observed in X-ray transients. We examined the ∼50 X-ray transients in our Chandra survey of M31 and found 13 with spectra suitable for analysis. We also examined two BHCs outside the field of view of our survey in the globular clusters B045 and B375. We have 42 strong BHCs and 8 plausible BHCs that may benefit from further observation. Of our 15 BHCs in globular clusters, 12 differ from NS spectra by >5σ. Due to improvements in our analysis, we have upgraded 10 previously identified plausible BHCs to strong BHCs. The mean maximum duty cycle of the 33 X-ray transients within 6' of M31* is 0.13; we estimate that >40% of the XBs in this region contain BH accretors. Remarkably, we estimate that BHCs contribute >90% of those XBs >10{sup 38} erg s{sup –1}.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/791/1/33},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 791,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Aug 10 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Sun Aug 10 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • We have identified four new black hole candidates (BHCs) in M31 globular clusters (GCs) using 123 Chandra and 4 XMM-Newton observations of the M31 central region. The X-ray source associated with Bo 163 (XB163) is a recurrent transient with the highest observed luminosity, {approx}1.4x 10{sup 38} erg s{sup -1}, considerably brighter than any outbursts from neutron star transients Aql X-1 or 4U 1608-452; the outburst apparently started {approx}45 days earlier than the observed peak, and hence the luminosity may have been considerably higher. We identified XB082, XB153, and XB185 as BHCs by observing 'low state' emission spectra at luminosities thatmore » exceed the threshold for neutron star binaries. The probability that these are neutron star systems with anisotropic emission beamed toward us is {approx}< 4 x 10{sup -4}, and their variability suggests emission from a single source. We therefore conclude that these systems likely contain black holes rather than neutron stars. We have now identified four persistently bright BHCs in the region; the probability that these are all background active galactic nuclei is {approx}<1x10{sup -20}. According to theory, the donors could be tidally captured main-sequence stars or white dwarfs in ultracompact binaries. We find that GCs that are particularly massive (XB082) or metal-rich (XB144) can host bright X-ray sources in addition to GCs that are both (XB163). Our method may reveal BHCs in other bright X-ray sources.« less
  • We examined 134 Chandra observations of the population of X-ray sources associated with globular clusters (GCs) in the central region of M31. These are expected to be X-ray binary systems (XBs), consisting of a neutron star or black hole accreting material from a close companion. We created long-term light curves for these sources, correcting for background, interstellar absorption, and instrumental effects. We tested for variability by examining the goodness of fit for the best-fit constant intensity. We also created structure functions (SFs) for every object in our sample, the first time this technique has been applied to XBs. We foundmore » significant variability in 28 out of 34 GCs and GC candidates; the other 6 sources had 0.3-10 keV luminosities fainter than {approx}2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}, limiting our ability to detect similar variability. The SFs of XBs with 0.3-10 keV luminosities {approx}2-50 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1} generally showed considerably more variability than the published ensemble SF of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Our brightest XBs were mostly consistent with the AGN SF; however, their 2-10 keV fluxes could be matched by <1 AGN per square degree. These encouraging results suggest that examining the long-term light curves of other X-ray sources in the field may provide an important distinction between X-ray binaries and background galaxies, as the X-ray emission spectra from these two classes of X-ray sources are similar. Additionally, we identify 3 new black hole candidates (BHCs) using additional XMM-Newton data, bringing the total number of M31 GC BHCs to 9, with 8 covered in this survey.« less
  • We have previously identified 10 M31 black hole candidates (BHCs) in M31 from their X-ray properties alone. They exhibit ''hard state'' emission spectra that are seen at luminosities {approx}<10% Eddington in X-ray binaries (XBs) containing a neutron star (NS) or black hole, at luminosities that significantly exceed the NS threshold. Nine of these are associated with globular clusters (GCs); hence, these are most likely low mass X-ray binaries; eight are included in this survey. We have recently discovered that analysis of the long term 0.5-4.5 keV variability of XBs via structure functions allows us to separate XBs from active galacticmore » nuclei, even though the emission spectra are often similar; this has enabled us to search for BHCs outside of GCs. We have identified 26 new BHCs (12 strong, 14 plausible) within 20' of the M31 nucleus (M31*), using 152 Chandra observations spaced over {approx}13 yr; some of our classifications were enhanced with XMM-Newton observations. Of these, seven appear within 100'' of M31*; this supports the theory suggesting that this region experiences enhanced XB production via dynamical processes similar to those seen in GCs. We have found a parameter space where our BHCs are separated from Galactic NS binaries: we show that modeling a simulated hard state spectrum with a disk blackbody + blackbody model yields parameters that lie outside the space occupied by NS binaries that are modeled this way. The probability that our BHCs all lie within the NS parameter space is {approx}3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -29}.« less
  • In order to investigate the growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs), we construct the black hole mass function (BHMF) and Eddington ratio distribution function (ERDF) of X-ray-selected broad-line active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z {approx} 1.4 in the Subaru XMM-Newton Deep Survey (SXDS) field. A significant part of the accretion growth of SMBHs is thought to take place in this redshift range. Black hole masses of X-ray-selected broad-line AGNs are estimated using the width of the broad Mg II line and 3000 A monochromatic luminosity. We supplement the Mg II FWHM values with the H{alpha} FWHM obtained from our NIRmore » spectroscopic survey. Using the black hole masses of broad-line AGNs at redshifts between 1.18 and 1.68, the binned broad-line AGN BHMFs and ERDFs are calculated using the V{sub max} method. To properly account for selection effects that impact the binned estimates, we derive the corrected broad-line AGN BHMFs and ERDFs by applying the maximum likelihood method, assuming that the ERDF is constant regardless of the black hole mass. We do not correct for the non-negligible uncertainties in virial BH mass estimates. If we compare the corrected broad-line AGN BHMF with that in the local universe, then the corrected BHMF at z = 1.4 has a higher number density above 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun} but a lower number density below that mass range. The evolution may be indicative of a downsizing trend of accretion activity among the SMBH population. The evolution of broad-line AGN ERDFs from z = 1.4 to 0 indicates that the fraction of broad-line AGNs with accretion rates close to the Eddington limit is higher at higher redshifts.« less
  • We present a detailed spectral analysis of new XMM-Newton data of the source CXOC J100043.1+020637, also known as CID-42, detected in the COSMOS survey at z = 0.359. Previous works suggested that CID-42 is a candidate recoiling supermassive black hole (SMBH) showing also an inverted P-Cygni profile in the X-ray spectra at ∼6 keV (rest) with an iron emission line plus a redshifted absorption line (detected at 3σ in previous XMM-Newton and Chandra observations). Detailed analysis of the absorption line suggested the presence of ionized material flowing into the black hole at high velocity. In the new long XMM-Newton observation,more » while the overall spectral shape remains constant, the continuum 2-10 keV flux decrease of ∼20% with respect to previous observation and the absorption line is undetected. The upper limit on the intensity of the absorption line is EW < 162 eV. Extensive Monte Carlo simulations show that the nondetection of the line is solely due to variation in the properties of the inflowing material, in agreement with the transient nature of these features, and that the intensity of the line is lower than the previously measured with a probability of 98.8%. In the scenario of CID-42 as a recoiling SMBH, the absorption line can be interpreted as being due to an inflow of gas with variable density that is located in the proximity of the SMBH and recoiling with it. New monitoring observations will be requested to further characterize this line.« less