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Title: THE FADING OF TWO TRANSIENT ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCES TO BELOW THE STELLAR MASS EDDINGTON LIMIT

We report new detections of the two transient ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in NGC 5128 from an ongoing series of Chandra observations. Both sources have previously been observed L{sub x} (2-3) × ∼10{sup 39} erg s{sup –1}, at the lower end of the ULX luminosity range. The new observations allow us to study these sources in the luminosity regime frequented by the Galactic black hole X-ray binaries (BH XBs). We present the recent lightcurves of both ULXs. 1RXH J132519.8-430312 (ULX1) was observed at L{sub x} ≈ 1 × 10{sup 38} erg s{sup –1}, while CXOU J132518.2-430304 (ULX2) declined to L{sub x} ≈ 2 × 10{sup 37} erg s{sup –1} and then lingered at this luminosity for hundreds of days. We show that a reasonable upper limit for both duty cycles is 0.2, with a lower limit of 0.12 for ULX2. This duty cycle is larger than anticipated for transient ULXs in old stellar populations. By fitting simple spectral models in an observation with ∼50 counts we recover properties consistent with Galactic BH XBs, but inconclusive as to the spectral state. We utilize quantile analyses to demonstrate that the spectra are generally soft, and that in one observation the spectrum ofmore » ULX2 is inconsistent with a canonical hard state at >95% confidence. This is contrary to what would be expected of an accreting intermediate mass black hole primary, which we would expect to be in the hard state at these luminosities. We discuss the paucity of transient ULXs discovered in early-type galaxies and excogitate explanations. We suggest that the number of transient ULXs scales with the giant and sub-giant populations, rather than the total number of XBs.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ; ;  [7]
  1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT (United Kingdom)
  2. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  3. International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845 (Australia)
  4. Astronomy and Astrophysics Group, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-105 (United States)
  5. Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E1 (Canada)
  6. HH Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL (United Kingdom)
  7. School of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, AL10 9AB (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270908
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 775; 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; ASTROPHYSICS; BLACK HOLES; GALAXY CLUSTERS; LUMINOSITY; MASS; TRANSIENTS; X-RAY GALAXIES